Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dissertation Dish: SB5 and WISC-IV Gv predictors of math achievement

Visual-spatial processing and mathematics achievement: The predictive ability of the visual-spatial measures of the Stanford-Binet intelligence scales, Fifth Edition and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition by Clifford, Eldon, Ph.D., University of South Dakota, 2008, 195 pages; AAT 3351188

In the law and the literature there has been a disconnect between the definition of a learning disability and how it is operationalized. For the past 30 years, the primary method of learning disability identification has been a severe discrepancy between an individual's cognitive ability level and his/her academic achievement. The recent 2004 IDEA amendments have included language that allows for changes in identification procedures. This language suggests a specific learning disability may be identified by a student's failure to respond to a research based intervention (RTI). However, both identification methods fail to identify a learning disability based on the IDEA 2004 definition, which defines a specific learning disability primarily as a disorder in psychological processing. Research suggests that processing components play a critical role in academic tasks such as reading, writing and mathematics. Furthermore, there has been considerable research that suggests visual-spatial processing is related to mathematics achievement. The two most well known IQ tests, the Stanford-Binet-Fifth Edition (SB5) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV), were revised in 2003 to align more closely with the most current theory of intelligence, the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory of cognitive abilities (CHC). Research supports both instruments have subtests that measure visual-spatial processing. The purpose of the current study is to identify which visual-spatial processing measure (SB5 or WISC-IV) is the better predictor of poor mathematics achievement. The participants were 112 6 th -8 th grade middle school students. Of the 112 original participants, 109 were included in the study. The comparison of the results of two separate sequential logistic regressions found that both measures could significantly predict mathematics achievement. However, given the relatively small amount of variance accounted for by both the SB5 and WISC-IV visual-spatial processing measures, the results had questionable practical significance.

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Stephen R. Diamond said...

The results might better be described as showing Gv is not a (clinically significant) predictor of math achievement. My guess is that Gv would prove much more predictive of high-level math accomplishment.

Kevin McGrew said...

I concur. I've reviewed considerable research and it does show a significant relationship between Gv and higher-level math. I also think that the continued failure to find Gv-math links in our traditional IQ tests may be because the Gv tests are not tapping into more complex visual-spatial abilities....such as those in complex visual-spatial working memory.

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Kevin McGrew said...

Thanks for the positive compliment. I'm glad I can be of service.

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