Why should I read? - A cross-cultural investigation into adolescents' reading socialisation and reading attitude

Broeder, Peter; Stokmans, Mia
June 2013
International Review of Education / Internationale Zeitschrift f;Jun2013, Vol. 59 Issue 1, p87
Academic Journal
While reading behaviour of adolescents is a frequent object of research, most studies in this field are restricted to a single country. This study investigates reading as a leisure-time activity across social groups from three regions differing in reading tradition as well as in the facilities available for reading. The authors analyse the reading behaviour of a total of 2,173 adolescents in the Netherlands, in Beijing (China), and in Cape Town (South Africa). Taking Icek Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behaviour as a starting point, the authors adjusted it to model the three most important determinants of reading behaviour, namely (1) reading attitude; (2) subjective norms (implicit and explicit social pressure to read); and (3) perceived behavioural control, which includes reading proficiency and appropriateness of the available books (book supply). While they found the adjusted model to fit the Dutch and Beijing situation quite well, it appeared to be inappropriate for the Cape Town situation. Despite considerable cultural and situational differences between the Netherlands and Beijing, the results show a similar pattern for these two environments. The most important determinants turn out to be: the hedonic reading attitude, the implicit norm of family and friends, the attractiveness of the available choice of books, and the perceived reading proficiency.


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