The Reading Maturity Survey: Steps Toward Instrument and Construct Validation with College-Level Readers

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There is a need to promote growth past basic reading proficiency toward the more substantial idea of reading maturity. The reading maturity construct has a history of being valued, at least in principle. However, it is a complex construct, and this makes its measurement challenging. The present research study addressed aspects of this challenge by using data collected from an instrument called The Reading Maturity Survey, administered twice to 382 college students, to help validate the instrument and to add one piece of validation evidence to the internal structure of the reading maturity construct. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to identify the latent literacy constructs and to examine the relationships between these constructs. The findings contribute to further psychometric validation of The Reading Maturity Survey, and add one new piece of quantitative evidence supporting the theory-based construct of reading maturity. Because this study provides some preliminary evidence of viable ways to both measure and define this construct, our hope is that the findings would move the reading field one step closer to being able to better recognize an overarching unified construct of reading maturity, perhaps eventually (re)establishing it as a goal that literacy education could pursue.