Performance on the PPVT–III and the EVT: Applicability of the Measures With African American and European American Preschool Children Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine whether two vocabulary measures were appropriate for the evaluation of African American children and children whose mothers have low education levels, regardless of gender. Method Data were collected for 210 high-risk, preschool children from a southeastern state in the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2006
Performance on the PPVT–III and the EVT: Applicability of the Measures With African American and European American Preschool Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • María Adelaida Restrepo
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Paula J. Schwanenflugel
    The University of Georgia, Athens
  • Jamilia Blake
    The University of Georgia, Athens
  • Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett
    The University of Georgia, Athens
  • Stephen E. Cramer
    The University of Georgia, Athens
  • Hilary P. Ruston
    The University of Georgia, Athens
  • Contact author: Dr. María Adelaida Restrepo, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University P.O. Box 870102, Tempe, AZ 85287. Email: laida.restrepo@asu.edu
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2006
Performance on the PPVT–III and the EVT: Applicability of the Measures With African American and European American Preschool Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2006, Vol. 37, 17-27. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2006/003)
History: Received February 10, 2004 , Accepted February 25, 2005
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2006, Vol. 37, 17-27. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2006/003)
History: Received February 10, 2004; Accepted February 25, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 32

Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine whether two vocabulary measures were appropriate for the evaluation of African American children and children whose mothers have low education levels, regardless of gender.

Method Data were collected for 210 high-risk, preschool children from a southeastern state in the United States on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Third Edition (PPVT–III; L. M. Dunn & L.M. Dunn, 1997) and the Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT; K. T. Williams, 1997).

Results Results indicated that African American children and children whose mothers had low education levels tended to score lower on both measures than did children from European American backgrounds and children whose mothers had a high school or higher education; however, this effect was larger for the PPVT–III.

Clinical Implications Data suggest that the EVT is a better indicator of a child’s “vocabulary” skill, and that the PPVT–III has a greater tendency than the EVT to place African American children and children whose mothers have low education levels at risk for being unfairly identified as presenting with a potential language disorder. These data indicate that practitioners should use alternative assessment methods such as nonstandard and dynamic assessments to test children’s vocabulary skill. In particular, if they use the PPVT–III, practitioners should take great caution in interpreting test results as evidence of a vocabulary problem in African American children and children whose mothers have low education levels.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Funding for this project was provided by the U.S. Department of Education Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program, Award S349A010167.
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