Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Begy


This study was designed to investigate, compare, and document the use of efferent and aesthetic reading strategies, as used by both undergraduate and graduate college students enrolled in a course in developmental reading instruction.

Twenty students were individually interviewed, each student attending two separate interviews: one which focused on efferent reading and the other which focused on aesthetic reading. The students' responses to the question, "What is efferent/aesthetic reading comprehension?"; their comments made as they “thought-out-loud” while reading; and their identifications of efferent and aesthetic reading comprehension strategies, were analyzed and categorized according to similarities in items included in the students' responses.

The findings of this study indicate: 1) that reading is both an active and a transactive process; 2) that students have at their disposal a wide variety of reading comprehension strategies to help them understand a text; 3) that students are not necessarily aware of the strategies which they are employing while reading; and 4) that a reader's purpose does play a role in determining which aspects of the text are brought into awareness by the reader.

The data suggest that reading is a complex and individual process and therefore support the concepts of student-centered education. Additionally, because it was indicated in this study that a reader's purpose plays an important role in reading comprehension, the data also support those reading programs in which the students are guided to discover the different purposes for reading different types of texts.

Implications for future research include conducting similar studies with readers from a variety of age and population groups. Implications also include the development of a less verbal procedure to gain insight into the thought processes which occur, while reading, in children who have not yet reached the stage of cognitive development needed to successfully participate in the "Thinking-Out-Loud" procedure involved in this study.