Report  |   January 2006
Language Performance of Low-Income African American and European American Preschool Children on the PPVT–III
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Cathy Huaqing Qi, Department of Educational Specialties, University of New Mexico, Hokona Hall 248, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Email: hqi@unm.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity
Report   |   January 2006
Language Performance of Low-Income African American and European American Preschool Children on the PPVT–III
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2006, Vol. 37, 5-16. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2006/002)
History: Received November 12, 2003 , Revised June 14, 2004 , Accepted December 30, 2004
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2006, Vol. 37, 5-16. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2006/002)
History: Received November 12, 2003; Revised June 14, 2004; Accepted December 30, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 34

Purpose: The performance of low-income African American preschoolers (36 to 52 months old) on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Third Edition (PPVT–III; L. M. Dunn & L. M. Dunn, 1997) was examined to provide a norm for assessing the performance of this population and to explore the link between socioeconomic status (SES) and language scores on the PPVT–III.

Method: Four hundred and eighty-two African American and 52 European American children in a comparison group were individually administered the PPVT–III.

Results: On average, African American children performed approximately 1.5 SD below the expected mean based on national norms. Using standard cutoff scores, the PPVT–III identified more children as having language delays than did other measures of language abilities. Socioeconomic factors were related to PPVT–III scores, indicating that the degree of disadvantage within children with low SES was related to language abilities. Maternal education level, marital status, and the number of children in the household were uniquely associated with children’s performance on the PPVT–III.

Clinical Implications: The importance of supporting language development in preschool children from low-income families is discussed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This study was supported by grants awarded to the second author from the Department of Health and Human Services (90YD0086); from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (90YM002); and from the National Institute of Mental Health (RO1MH54629). We thank the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Foundation for providing a travel grant to the first author to attend the first Annual Conference on Research in Communication Disorders in 2003, and for selecting this manuscript for a mock review at the conference. We would like to extend our appreciation to the families who participated in the study for their cooperation. Part of this paper was presented at the ASHA annual convention in Washington, DC, in November, 2000.
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