Lenin C. Grajo, Catherine Candler, Patricia Bowyer, Sally Schultz, Jennifer Thomson, Karen Fong; Determining the Internal Validity of the Inventory of Reading Occupations: An Assessment Tool of Children’s Reading Participation. Am J Occup Ther 2016;70(3):7003220010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.017582
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
The Inventory of Reading Occupations (IRO) is an assessment tool of children’s reading participation. In this study, we used Rasch methods to determine the internal validity of the IRO. Participants included 192 typical and struggling readers from kindergarten to third grade from five different states in the United States. We analyzed the fit of each of the items in the 17 reading categories, the test items in the three dimensions of reading participation, and the contexts of reading in the IRO. Analysis indicated that the IRO items support the Rasch model of unidimensionality. Analysis also indicated that 1 of the 30 test items can be revised to strengthen test validity. Moreover, the analysis also suggested that the IRO is more useful for first- to third-grade students. This study provides evidence of internal validity of a useful tool to assess children’s reading participation.
Occupational therapists can support the assessment of children’s reading from the perspective of participation, which may include identifying contexts of reading; availability of social supports and resources; and the frequency, amount, and preferences for reading of children.
The IRO appears to be a valid tool on the basis of the results of this study. The tool can be used by occupational therapists, speech–language pathologists, reading specialists, and classroom teachers for children from first to third grades to gather information about the reading participation of typical readers and children with reading difficulties. Reading participation is essential in performance of many daily activities and fulfillment of important life roles.
The IRO may be able to provide a continuum of reading participation on the basis of a child’s preference, mastery, and frequency of reading various materials and supports available in different contexts of reading. This profile of reading participation may provide insights into how occupational therapists, reading interventionists, classroom teachers, and parents can support children with or without reading difficulties. This reading profile from the IRO may also provide a holistic perspective on reading that can potentially respond to a gap in the reading assessment and intervention literature.
Data gathered from this study can be used and analyzed with CTT methods to support the preliminary psychometric properties identified in the Rasch analysis.
To support the clinical utility of the IRO and its ability to measure changes in children’s reading participation, clinicians can administer the IRO in a group study of typical readers and children with reading difficulties receiving traditional classroom literacy instruction or reading intervention. The IRO can be administered at the beginning and end of a semester, school year, or intervention period to measure changes in reading participation as a result of reading instruction or intervention.
Because the validation version of the IRO appears to be most useful for first to third graders, developing a preschool and kindergarten version and a version for children in later elementary levels of schooling can be explored.
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