The Effect of Examiner's Race on the Performance of African American Children on the SCAN Purpose: With African American children, processingdependent central auditory nervous system (CANS) tests, such as the Screening Test for Auditory Processing Disorders (SCAN) (Keith, 1986), may be less culturally biased than traditional knowledge-dependent standardized language measures. Keith found that African American children received lower scores on the SCAN than did Anglo ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2000
The Effect of Examiner's Race on the Performance of African American Children on the SCAN
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tina T. Smith
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Tamala Bradham
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Leah Chandler
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Christina Wells
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: tsmith@sophe.sph.sc.edu
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2000
The Effect of Examiner's Race on the Performance of African American Children on the SCAN
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2000, Vol. 31, 116-125. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3102.116
History: Received July 24, 1998 , Accepted September 18, 1999
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2000, Vol. 31, 116-125. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3102.116
History: Received July 24, 1998; Accepted September 18, 1999

Purpose: With African American children, processingdependent central auditory nervous system (CANS) tests, such as the Screening Test for Auditory Processing Disorders (SCAN) (Keith, 1986), may be less culturally biased than traditional knowledge-dependent standardized language measures. Keith found that African American children received lower scores on the SCAN than did Anglo American children. The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether middle-class African American children might improve their SCAN performance when tested by an African American versus an Anglo American examiner.

Method: The SCAN was administered twice to 47 African American children, ages 5–10 years. Half of the participants were tested by an African American examiner first and then by an Anglo American examiner, with the order of testing counterbalanced for the remaining half of the participants. Data were also analyzed by grade level.

Results: A 2 (examiner race) x 3 (grade level) analysis of variance did not reveal a significant effect for examiner race, but did show a main effect for grade level on certain SCAN subtests; however, effect size results revealed that the magnitude of differences between mean scores on the Competing Words subtest and the composite score were large enough to be potentially significant. Results also indicated a significant learning effect.

Clinical Implications: Although examiner race did not appear to influence SCAN performance for this group of children, the possibility of a race effect needs further investigation with a larger sample, as does the clinical utility of the SCAN as a processing-dependent measure. The significant learning effect also suggests potential problems with the test-retest reliability of the SCAN.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
We would like to thank Allen Montgomery for his help with the statistical analysis of the results. We would also like to thank William Cooper and Hiram McDade for their support of this project.
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