Monday, September 13, 2010

Dissertation Dish: Brief neuropsych. battery for reading disability screening

Sensitivity of an abbreviated neuropsychological battery in screening for reading disability by Kane, Cynthia, Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology, 2010 , 71 pages; AAT 3417931

Identification of reading disorder in children is the first step in providing appropriate intervention. Neuropsychological assessment provides comprehensive information regarding cognitive strengths and weaknesses; however, there are several inherent drawbacks to this type of evaluation that limit its accessibility, including the time and cost involved. The objective of this study was to determine whether an abbreviated neuropsychological battery, decreasing both time and cost could effectively identify reading disorder. 78 children, ages 6-18, were administered the Woodcock Johnson Academic Achievement Scales, Third Edition (WJ-III) Broad Reading Index, the California Verbal Learning Test for Children (CVLT-C), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), and the Matrix Reasoning, Similarities, Block Design, and Vocabulary subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV). Of these 78 children 52 had been previously diagnosed with reading disorder, while the remaining 26 had no diagnosis. A discriminant function analysis resulted in a significant Wilks' Lambda and the abbreviated battery successfully classified cases into their correct diagnostic groups at a rate of 80%. Two subsequent analyses were computed, first with the combination of the WJ-III, the BRIEF, and Similarities, and then with just the WJ-III. Results of these analyses indicated that both models significantly discriminated between groups. The three variable model predicted diagnostic classification with 78% accuracy, while the single variable model predicted with 65% accuracy. Results of this study suggest that an abbreviated battery can have diagnostic utility in screening for reading disorder

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