Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Yasha Becton


This mixed methods research study examined the reading motivation and retrieval practice ability of U. S. undergraduates aged 18 to 23, as well as the correlations between the two variables, with a focus on gender, year as an undergraduate, and race/ethnicity. A random national sample of 90 undergraduates and an additional minority sample of 17 undergraduates completed an online survey. Quantitative data on reading motivation were derived from an adult reading motivation scale, and qualitative data on retrieval practice were derived from three college-level reading passages. This study filled gaps in the literature and provided insights for future practice and research. Analysis using descriptive and inferential statistics revealed that undergraduates were primarily motivated to read to do well in other realms, and Black students professed stronger reading motivation than Hispanic undergraduates. Regarding retrieval practice, all students other than the seniors and Asian students from the national sample struggled most with the psychology reading passage compared to the intellectual property and copyright excerpt or the U. S. history excerpt. Correlations between reading motivation and retrieval practice proved statistically significant for freshman, Asian, and Hispanic undergraduates from the national sample. A disparity in results showed White students outperforming minorities in retrieval practice.


© 2023, Robyn M. Pernetti