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The relationship between children’s reading ability and emotional health
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 13:04 authored by Deanna Francis
The emotional health of poor readers is a relatively new area of research. Despite considerable effort, our understanding of the emotional health outcomes for poor readers remains unclear, and the theoretical underpinnings of this association are not well understood. Against this background, the overarching aim of this thesis was to improve our understanding of the relationship between poor reading and poor emotional health. To this end, I conducted two studies to explore the potential relationships between children’s poor reading and emotional health. The first study in this dissertation presents a systematic review of the research examining the association between poor reading and anxiety, and poor reading and depression. The second study is an empirical study to examine the associations that exist between different types of poor reading and different types of emotional health. The findings from this dissertation suggest a reliable association between poor reading and anxiety. We also found that different aspects of reading were related to different types of reading self-concept, and that poor readers were at greater risk for poor perceived reading competence and poor reading attitudes. We also found that reading comprehension was related to anxiety and depression, and that poor readers were at higher risk for experiencing anxiety and depression. Considered together, these findings support the general idea that poor reading is associated with poor emotional health, and the more specific idea that some types of poor reading are reliably associated with some types of poor emotional health but not others.We provide suggestions for how this field of research might move forward to support the needs of poor readers with poor emotional health.