The use of individually administered cognitive abilities tests with academically "at-risk" children.
AuthorHall, Dorothy May.
Committee ChairMishra, Shitala P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to gather information about criterion-related and construct test validity as applied to a referral or "at-risk" sample. Two individually administered cognitive abilities tests, the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children-Third Edition (WISC-III) and the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJ-R Cog), frequently used in the special education placement decision process have recently been revised. Before test generalizations obtained from the standardization sample can be presumed to apply to a referral or "at-risk" sample, research is needed to explore the applicability of these assumptions to this population. No previous research has used a random sample of children referred for special education evaluation who are not yet placed into a program to explore the construct and concurrent validity of both complete test batteries. A random sample of 183 students referred for possible special education placement was used. Ages ranged from 6 to 16 years. Students were classified into three age groups, four ethnic groups, and six possible special education classifications, including a non-placed category. Data were analyzed using a variety of techniques including: exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, stepwise multiple regression, and multiple discriminant function analysis. Findings of this study support the four factor WISC-III model and the seven factor WJ-R Cog model. Study results indicate a concurrent verbal component (approximately 50%) comprised of the WISC-III VC factor and the WJ-R Cog Gc, Gs, and Ga factors. This verbal component was the best composite predictor variable of academic achievement. Although "at-risk" students scored lower on these verbal component factors, BWL, or broad written language, was the best single discriminator variable in both a six and two group analyses. Special education classifications were examined for specific category profiles and the ACID/ACIDS profile was investigated. This study initiated information about the underlying test constructs and how these constructs relate to each other when given to an "at-risk" referral sample. It is hoped that this study will stimulate further research in this area.
Degree ProgramEducational Psychology