ERIC Number: ED450339
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Adults' Reading Practices and Activities: Age, Educational and Occupational Effects.
Smith, M. Cecil; Stahl, Norman A.
Interest in adults' everyday reading practices has a lengthy history in the study of the psychology of reading. Several studies have examined the extent of, and variability in, adults' reading activities. Different social contexts have been shown to influence the type of reading performed. The present study examined the reading patterns and practices of a wide age range of adults with diverse educational backgrounds, and who were employed in a variety of occupations. The purpose was to examine differences in adults' reading activities across different social contexts. Reading behavior data were obtained using the Reading Activity Method (RAM). Subjects carried RAM diaries and recorded their reading activity for 10 days. Age group differences were found in regards to the reading purposes and total reading time. Younger adults read for school, while older adults read for work. While older adults read more volume than the younger adults, the younger adults spent more time reading than did their older counterparts. Adults having the most education read for work and leisure, while those with less education read for school, leisure, and work. Professionals read more for work, while nonprofessionals read more for leisure. Subjects averaged more daily reading time (4.14 hours) than has been reported in previous studies. The findings illustrate the effects of setting and situation upon adults' reading practices. Implications for using the Reading Activity Method in studying connections between reading behaviors and cognitive development are discussed. Contains 10 references, and 3 tables and 9 figures of data. (Author/RS)
Descriptors: Adults, Age Differences, Educational Attainment, Reading Attitudes, Reading Habits, Reading Research, Social Influences
Full text at http://coe.cedu.niu.edu/~smith/papers/contextual.htm. Tables and figures, which are not included in the online version, may not reproduce well.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A