We examined the relations between reading self-concept, reading interest, task-focused behavior, and reading skills, and whether culture moderates their relations in a longitudinal study across Western (Canadian) and East Asian (Japanese) cultural contexts. Three hundred six children were assessed on reading self-concept and reading interest at the beginning of Grade 2, and on reading skills at the beginning and end of Grade 2. Teachers rated the children’s task-focused behavior at the beginning of Grade 2. Results showed that whereas task-focused behavior was uniquely associated with reading skills in both samples, the association between reading self-concept and reading skills was stronger in the Canadian sample than in the Japanese sample. Moreover, reading self-concept had an indirect effect on later reading skills via the effects of task-focused behavior and reading skills only in the Canadian sample. These findings suggest that while it is likely that there is a positive association between motivation and reading skills, the developmental dynamics between them may not be the same across the two cultures.
- Task-focused behavior