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The Attitudes of good and poor male readers Johnson, Terry Dawson

Abstract

From a review of literature related to reading disability, emotional disturbance, identification and attitude formation in young children, it was hypothesized that a major factor in reading disability in boys is the inability of masculinely-oriented boys to accept the feminine values found in the typical primary classroom. The attitudes of twenty-one good male readers and twenty-one poor male readers at the grade two level were measured by means of Osgood's Semantic Differential. The two groups were matched for age, I. Q. and socio-economic status. An analysis of the data indicated that the identification patterns of good and poor male readers revealed by their responses to items on Osgood's Semantic Differential do not differ significantly. However, the direction of the obtained differences was rather consistently in support of the hypothesis. The predictions in this paper could be broken down into forty-two items; eighteen of these predictions were clearly implied. Thirty-seven of the obtained differences between good and poor male readers were in the direction predicted by the hypothesis. The probability of obtaining such consistency can not be attributed to chance. From the present findings two suggestions are made: (1) more refined studies may reveal significant differences in the identification patterns and attitudes of good and poor male readers; (2) a child's pattern of identification may be a contributing factor rather than the factor involved in reading failure. Suggestions for further study concerning the introduction of more masculine elements into the primary classroom are proposed.

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