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The Influence of Reading Patterns on the Proficiencies of Young Adults NAEP

Kirsch, Irwin S.; Mosenthal, Peter B.; Rock, Donald A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Literacy, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Reading Ability, Reading Habits, Young Adults


Using data collected by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) through its literacy assessment of young adults, this study addressed the question, "Do adult patterns of reading activity relate to demonstrated proficiencies?" Five reading patterns were developed that represent various combinations of high and low activity with newspapers, magazines, books, and brief documents. These patterns were found to be related to performance on the three NAEP literacy scales-prose, document, and quantitative-for the total population and for major subgroups as well. Through regression analyses, these patterns were shown to have importance in explaining the literacy performance levels of America's 21-to 25-year olds. These findings are discussed in the context of recent cognitive research that emphasizes the importance of graded contextual practice in the transition from novice to expert status. (35pp.)

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