Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Henington, Carlen

Committee Member

Reisener, Carmen D.

Committee Member

Justice, Cheryl A.

Committee Member

McCleon, Tawny E.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Educational Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Peer tutoring as an instructional strategy has been used by school personnel to increase academic achievement in the classroom setting. Traditionally, the peer tutoring concept relies on student partnerships linking higher achieving students with lower achieving students for structured reading sessions. Recently, new studies have focused on linking students with comparable reading achievements or cross-age peer tutors. Research suggests that using peer tutors may promote higher reading fluency in at-risk students as compared to teacher instruction. A potential reason for this phenomenon includes students’ comfort level with peers allowing for a more easy development of reading growth. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness, efficiency, and scalability of cross-age peer tutoring on reading fluency and reading comprehension. The study involved 7 fifth grade struggling readers as tutors to 7 third grade struggling readers. Reading to Read was used as the intervention protocol. The dyads met for 5 weeks with progress monitoring conducted at the beginning of each week. Results indicated consistent benefit in improving reading fluency in 13 of the 14 participants. Several implications to the study can be identified. Peer assisted learning can benefit both participants in reading fluency. Participating in the peer assisted learning process improves the attitudes toward reading of below grade level readers. Further implications, limitations, and future research relating to the results of this study are also discussed.