University study: Peers affect students' reading habits

University study: Peers affect students' reading habits

PEERS and incentives are major factors in fostering reading habits in students, a Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) survey found.

The 2014 study indicated that most of the 180 surveyed Year Seven to Nine students in Bandar Seri Begawan had a positive perception of people who read.

Sri Kartika Hj Abd Rahman (pictured), lecturer at UBD's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education in Malay Language and Literacy Education, said peers who read at school do not undermine other students' ability to read.

"However, according to a study by an international researcher named Zaini in 1997, students' motivation to read will decline when their friends do not read," she said in her presentation during UBD's International Conference of Education earlier this week.

The study found that most of the students preferred to read books at school because of distractions such as television at home, said Sri Kartika, one of the study's four researchers.

She said this was similar to Zaini's study, as students in the city recognised that entertainment shows are distractions from reading.

She added that incentives were also a major factor in motivating students to read.

Other international studies in 1975 and 2001 had also shown that students who were not given incentives had lower levels of motivation to read.

The study also concluded that parents are vital in cultivating the habit of reading from an early age.

During the study, students were handed 21 questionnaires on their impressions toward three factors to reading motivation - how they appreciate the value of books; what they think about people who read; and what they think about reading at home.

However, Sri Kartika acknowledged that there were limitations with the study, as the findings "do not represent the whole country because it is a project experiment involving one school with a few number of respondents".

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