Development and validation of the Reading Engagement Survey
Whitaker, Sarah Kristine
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Engagement is a critical component of successful reading. In the present study, reading engagement represents a metaconstruct, subsuming motivation, personal beliefs, interest, self-regulation, and other aspects of reading often examined independently of one another. Specifically, reading engagement is defined as the combined functioning of these elements of reading, which produces a reader who has the desire, skills, and ability to become deeply involved with a text. The Reading Engagement Survey (RES), a questionnaire using a five-point Likert scale, was developed from a social-cognitive perspective. The RES was administered to 159 upper elementary-school students. The students’ scores on the RES were reliable and related to students’ reading-achievement scores, an indication of criterion-related validity. An exploratory factor analysis provided evidence of construct validity, revealing that the students conceptualized their reading engagement in terms of three factors: task-value, anxiety, and flow. The findings suggest that the RES is a reliable, valid, and efficient tool for teachers to measure their students’ levels of reading engagement. Directions for future research include the cross validation of the RES on a new sample of students and the use of confirmatory factor analysis.