Performance on the PPVT-III and the EVT: Applicability of the measures with African American and European American preschool children

Maria Restrepo, Paula J. Schwanenflugel, Jamilia Blake, Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett, Stephen E. Cramer, Hilary P. Ruston

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    52 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    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.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)17-27
    Number of pages11
    JournalLanguage, speech, and hearing services in schools
    Volume37
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2006

    Keywords

    • African American
    • Differential item functioning
    • EVT
    • Maternal education
    • PPVT
    • Test bias
    • Vocabulary

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Speech and Hearing

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