Effectiveness of accelerated reader on children's reading outcomes: A meta-analytic review

Clair M. Tischner, Sara E. Ebner, Kathleen B. Aspiranti, David A. Klingbeil, Alicia L. Fedewa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accelerated reader (AR) is a computerized reading program commonly used in schools. The program aims to enhance students' reading achievement and encourage students to read more through goal setting and frequent reading practice. A meta-analytic review of the AR was conducted to analyse its effectiveness as an evidence-based intervention for improving student reading achievement, attitude, and motivation. This study investigated potential moderating variables, including publication type, participant, and study characteristics that impact student reading outcomes. A total of 44 studies from peer-reviewed journal articles and dissertations met the inclusion criteria. Participants included 16,653 students enrolled in elementary, middle, and high school. Hedges' g effect sizes measures suggest pretest–posttest one-group AR studies have moderate effects (g = 0.541) while comparison group AR studies have marginal effects (g = 0.278). A meta-regression model of six potential categorical moderators of comparison group studies indicted no significant moderators. Implications and the need for further research regarding evidence-based and culturally appropriate reading interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-39
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • accelerated reader
  • evidence-based intervention
  • meta-analysis
  • reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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