Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Mary R. Jalongo, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

DeAnna M. Laverick, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Kelli Reefer Paquette, Ed.D.


This research explored the emotions experienced by second and third grade children struggling with learning to read. The study employed grounded theory methodology to study the issue from three primary stakeholders: students, parents, and teachers. Anecdotal observations, along with interviews of children, parents, and teachers were analyzed using NVivo 10 (QSR, 2010) software. The analysis yielded two themes, anxiety and avoidance. The research resulted with two emergent theories. The first theory suggests that second and third grade children who struggle with reading often have feelings of anxiety that manifest in a variety of physical behaviors and avoidance of reading tasks. The second emergent theory proposes that teachers might confuse neurological responses of flight with low motivation and negative attitude towards reading. Insight into the human consequences of reading difficulties has implications for policy and classroom practice.