Impact on Self-Concepts

Impact on Self-Concepts

The Impact of Reading Recovery on Students’ Self-Concepts

Rumbaugh, W., & Brown, C. (2000). Reading Psychology, 21, 13-30.

Rumbaugh and Brown studied the effects of Reading Recovery participation on students’ self-concept. The treatment group was comprised of 57 students from nine elementary schools who were selected for Reading Recovery instruction in the first week of school. The 46 students in the control group had diverse reading and writing abilities and were not enrolled in any reading intervention or in special education. The control group came from a single elementary school.

All participants were administered the Joseph Pre-School and Primary Self-Concept Screening Test in early September prior to the treatment and again in mid-December.

There were statistically significant differences between Reading Recovery students and control students on the Global Self-Concept and Significance domain scores. Hence, the authors concluded:

  1. Reading Recovery participation does affect positively students’ Global Self Concept scores.
  2. The meaningful effect of Reading Recovery participation on students’ self-concept is related to the additional attention, or Significance domain, that students receive during several months of Reading Recovery.
  3. The initial positive effect on students’ self-concept cannot be attributed to increased growth in independence or cognitive factors.

Based on their results, Rumbaugh and Brown concluded:

School districts that choose to implement and maintain a Reading Recovery program would reap considerable benefits. One of the systemic advantages could be that the districts gain students who experience improved self-concepts due to enhanced feelings of significance. Not only will the Reading Recovery participants most likely become independent readers, they will also most likely become more confident, positive, self-accepting, proud, adaptable, and eager to complete tasks. (p. 28)

This abstract first appeared in What Evidence Says About Reading Recovery (2002). Columbus, OH: Reading Recovery Council of North America.