Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Elizabeth Meisinger

Committee Member

Elizabeth Meisinger

Committee Member

Randy Floyd

Committee Member

John Sabatini

Committee Member

Gustaf Seimyr


Although eye-tracking measures demonstrate the ability to provide unique contributions to reading research, use of these tools among child populations remains sparse and only one other study has explored the role of reading modality on eye movement behaviors among developing readers using structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques. To address these concerns, this study utilized an eye-tracking tool to examine reading fluency and comprehension skills during oral and silent reading among 490 students in fourth and fifth grade. ANOVAs were used to examine grade and modality differences in eye movement behaviors. Grade level and reading modality significantly impacted participants’ rereading duration, number of gazes per word, and probability of committing interword regressions. Specifically, during silent reading, fourth graders exhibited fewer gazes per word compared to students in fifth grade. Shorter rereading durations were found among fifth graders when reading silently whereas they engaged in more interword regressions during oral reading. SEM analytic approaches were used to examine the factor structure of eye movements, which yielded a unidimensional latent factor in this sample consisting of single-fixation duration, first-fixation duration, and rereading duration. To better understand reading development, further studies should consider the factor structure of eye movements during oral and silent reading, and how these processes impact reading comprehension skills.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access