AGE AS AN INFLUENCE ON EMPIRICALLY DEFINED WISC-R SCORE PATTERNS IN LEARNING DISABLED CHILDREN (SUBTYPES, ASSESSMENT, STABILITY)

PAUL D CHRISTOPHER, Fordham University

Abstract

An exploratory study using longitudinal data compared the empirically defined, homogeneous WISC-R patterns for 110 learning disabled (LD) children at each of three age levels. Cluster analyses were used to partition WISC-R scaled subtest scores at age Level I ((')X = 91.1 months), Level II ((')X = 127.6 months) and Level III ((')X = 165.9 months). The results found different numbers and types of patterns at each Level, supporting the contention that it is most useful to conceptualize the LD population as heterogeneous, with age as an important variable influencing observed differences. The use of a coeffecient of agreement (K) to assess pattern stability revealed that while a highly significant (p < .0001) number of children sustained their original pattern over the age range, most did not, although the possibilty for change was restricted. Similarities between the patterns at all three age levels suggested that the WISC-R may be a useful tool for the identification of strengths and weaknesses that have been associated with the differentiation of LD subtypes utilizing more extensive neuropsychological variables. For the sample as a whole, IQ scores were found to be stable, although the pattern at age Level I was found to be a significant factor in the subsequent stability of IQ. Supplementary analyses using Wide Range Achievement Test scores did not find significant differences between patterns when the effect of Full Scale IQ were removed, but a significant (p < .0001) decline in Spelling and Arithmetic scores were found for the whole sample. Suggestions for the application of multivariate techniques in subtype research are discussed, as are the implications of the results for the practice of school psychology. Contrary to earlier conclusions in the literature, the results suggest that when analyzed with methods that anticipate the heterogeneity of the population and age related changes, WISC-R contribute meaningful information for the understanding of children with learning disabilities. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

CHRISTOPHER, PAUL D, "AGE AS AN INFLUENCE ON EMPIRICALLY DEFINED WISC-R SCORE PATTERNS IN LEARNING DISABLED CHILDREN (SUBTYPES, ASSESSMENT, STABILITY)" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8508111.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8508111

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