Reading and Writing

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 1295–1317 | Cite as

Dimensions of the Adult Reading History Questionnaire and their relationships with reading ability

  • Suzanne E. WelcomeEmail author
  • Rebecca A. Meza


The Adult Reading History Questionnaire (ARHQ; Lefly & Pennington, 2000) is a widely used measure of self-reported reading difficulties. We explored the factor structure underlying this questionnaire using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. A six-factor solution emerged, with childhood reading ability, current reading attitude, spelling skill, reversal, print media use, and memory factors. We created subscales reflecting these factors and explored relationships between subscale scores and different reading abilities (word reading, nonword reading, and passage comprehension). The total ARHQ score, as well as scores on the childhood reading ability, current reading attitude, and spelling skill subscales were significantly associated with word reading, nonword reading, and passage comprehension. The spelling skills subscale showed a stronger relationship with nonword reading than other reading skills, while scores on the current reading attitude subscale showed a weaker relationship between nonword Reading skill and other measures of reading. Overall, the results suggest that reading history is multidimensional and should be regarded as such in future research. Importantly, this self-report measure of lifetime reading experience was associated with adult reading skill in a population of university students showing typical variation in reading skill, with different aspects of the scale relating to different reading subskills.


Factor analysis Phonological decoding Reading comprehension Reading history University students 



This research was supported by a University of Missouri Research Board Grant to the first author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesUniversity of Missouri – St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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