Purpose: This study was conducted to: 1) determine the factor structure of different morphological awareness tasks of college students with no known language, hearing, vision or academic difficulties, and 2) create and examine the direct and indirect effects of a reliable and validated morphological awareness factor structure on spelling, word-level reading, and sentence comprehension abilities in this college population. Method: Three morphological awareness tasks, spelling to dictation, word reading, and sentence comprehension tasks were administered to 214 undergraduate college students. Factor analyses were conducted to determine the factor structure of the morphological awareness tasks. A validated exogenous morphological awareness measure was generated and path analysis was run to examine direct and indirect effects of morphological awareness on college students’ literacy abilities. Results: Exploratory factor analyses revealed that the morphological awareness factor structure was unidimensional. Analyses using Item Response Theory generated a 24-item, validated, exogenous measure. Path analysis revealed that the standardized path coefficients in the direct model were .77 for spelling, .62 for word reading, and .58 for sentence comprehension. Path analysis for the indirect model indicated that the standardized indirect effect of morphological awareness on sentence comprehension was .38 through spelling and .13 through word reading. Conclusion: College students’ morphological awareness can be assessed using a validated measure that reflects a unidimensional factor structure. Morphological awareness is a stronger predictor for spelling than for word reading and sentence comprehension. Both spelling and word reading mediated the effects of morphological awareness on sentence comprehension. However, spelling was a stronger mediator than word reading; this may have been due to differences in the task demands of spelling and word reading.
|School:||The Florida State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Speech therapy, Literacy, Reading instruction|
|Keywords:||College students, Literacy, Morphological awareness|
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