Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Doctor of Philosophy




Klein, Perry


Few studies have considered the reliability and validity of the measures used to assess self-regulation in writing. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Interview on Self-Regulation in Early Writing, a novel task-specific measure designed to assess self-regulation in writing in Grade 1. This eight-item interview was designed to assess the planning, goal setting, strategy, self-statements, self-monitoring, coping, reviewing, and self-reinforcement aspects of self-regulation on separate transcription and composition dimensions. The data from 117 Grade 1 students were used to evaluate inter-rater reliability and the internal consistency of the scale. A principal components analysis (PCA) was used to examine the internal structure of the scale. Discriminant and predictive validity were also assessed. The Interview on Self-Regulation in Early Writing had excellent inter-rater reliability and good internal consistency once unreliable items were removed. The internal structure and discriminate and predictive validity analyses provided support for the validity of this measure. In sum, the current study provided evidence that supported the reliability and validity of the Interview on Self-Regulation in Early Writing. Further, it provided a description of self-regulatory writing behaviours writing in Grade 1 and filled a gap in the literature between content-neutral self-regulation in early childhood and subject-specific self-regulation in later grades.

Summary for Lay Audience

Writing is a challenging task that requires balancing a great deal of information in the mind at once, including thinking of ideas, organizing thoughts, and remembering information like spelling and punctuation. Self-regulation is the process that helps people manage the information required to write a story. Many researchers have discovered that teaching self-regulation skills helps older students to write better stories, but little work has been done with early writers. Further, no researchers have ever done any work examining if the tools that are used to measure self-regulation measure self-regulation instead of something else. The purpose of this research was to evaluate a new tool called the Interview on Self-Regulation in Early Writing. This study examined the tool’s reliability and validity. Reliability refers to whether the interview measured self-regulation consistently, and validity refers to whether the interview accurately measured self-regulation instead of something else. This interview asked Grade 1 students about aspects of self-regulation including their thoughts about planning stories, setting goals for their writing, the strategies they can use to help them write a good story, reviewing their stories, and the things they can say to motivate themselves to keep writing. This study had three groups of participants. One group was taught the regular curriculum from their teachers, one group was taught writing strategies and one group was taught writing strategies and self-regulation skills. This study found that the interview items measured self-regulation consistently. It also found that the interview predicted writing quality after they had received all their lessons and that the group that had been taught about writing strategies and self-regulation had more knowledge about self-regulation measured by the interview. This confirmed that the Interview on Self-Regulation in Writing was reliable (i.e., consistent), and valid (i.e., measured what it was supposed to). This research helped us to understand early writing behaviors and how to teach students in Grade 1 to write better stories.