A study of the relationship between dependency and reading achievement

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Daniels, Susan Jo, 1948-
Williams, Joan L.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
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The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between dependency and reading achievement.Dependency was defined as a form of social behavior which is exhibited when a student often seeks help, recognition, attention, proximity, physical contact, approval, and reassurance. Reading achievement was defined as a measure of a child's ability to decode and to comprehend written material and to use the knowledge of these two reading components in new situations with new reading material.Subjects were 145 fifth graders from the Muncie Community Schools, Muncie, Indiana. Their level of dependency was measured by the oral administration of two student questionnaires: the "Dependence Proneness Scale" and the "Children's Dependency Scale" and by ratings from their teachers. Dependency scores were correlated with their reading achievement scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. The statistical technique employed to test the six null hypotheses was the Pearson Product Moment Correlation.The hypotheses not only provided for the testing of the relationship between dependency and reading achievement but also the validity of the three scales. Moreover, since sex was determined as an intervening variable, the hypotheses were analyzed separately for girls and boys.Several conclusions were formulated based on thestudy:1. The "Children's Dependency Scale" is a more valid scale to measure dependency than the "Dependence Proneness Scale."2. Girls show a slight tendency to rate themselves as more dependent than boys; however, teachers tend to rate boys and girls equally regarding their dependency levels.3. Girls who are dependent show a tendency to be poorer readers.4. Child-rearing practices for girls need to be examined since the independent girl tended to be more successful in reading.5. Boys who are dependent do not show a tendency to be poorer readers.6. Assessment of the personality construct of dependency is very difficult, since rejection of several null hypotheses raised questions concerning the validity of some of the scales utilized.7. Teachers should become more aware of the concept of dependency since the dependent child has a different style of learning than the independent one.