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Validating the Peabody Individual Achievement Test-Revised: Identifying Reading Deficits in First Graders

Validating the Peabody Individual Achievement Test-Revised: Identifying Reading Deficits in First Graders
Elisa Huff, PhD, Susan K. Niebel, Carrie Belatti-Griffin, Cassandra R. Torgerson
February 7, 2005
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Dr. Elisa Huff, CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Disorders
The University of South Dakota

Susan K. Niebel, CCC-SLP
Instructor, Department of Communication Disorders
The University of South Dakota

Carrie Belatti-Griffin, SLP Graduate Student
The University of South Dakota

Cassandra R. Torgerson, Communication Disorders Undergraduate Student
The University of South Dakota

Introduction:

The Peabody Individual Achievement Test-Revised (PIAT-R, Markwardt, 1989), the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities-3 (ITPA-3, Hammill, Mather, & Roberts, 2001) and the Phonological Awareness Test (PAT, Robertson & Salter, 1997) were examined with respect to identifying reading deficits in a seven-year old male.

The results from the PIAT-R revealed reading recognition and reading comprehension skills within normal limits, the ITPA-3 revealed phonological awareness, decoding and spelling deficits. The PAT revealed sound-symbol correspondence and phonological awareness deficits.

Discussion will focus on the differences between the tests and the importance of using each test for the purpose identified by the test authors.

Brief Literature Review:

The PIAT-R is a commonly used and accepted achievement test which examines six content areas; general information, reading recognition, reading comprehension, mathematics, spelling, and written expression. The author of the PIAT-R reported the test scores are useful whenever a broad overview of a person's scholastic achievement is needed, or when selecting diagnostic instruments appropriate to the achievement level of the person, and importantly, the PIAT-R was not designed as a diagnostic test (see page 4, test manual).

Costenbader and Adams (1991) reviewed the PIAT-R and determined it was appropriate as a quick, wide-range screening measure. They confirmed the PIAT-R was not constructed as a diagnostic instrument and should not be used as such. The test was developed to be used with persons from age 5 through age 18 and the following scores can be calculated: grade and age equivalents, age and grade (fall, winter, spring) based standard scores, percentile ranks, normal curve equivalents, stanines, and confidence intervals. However, examination of the PIAT-R revealed a problem using the raw score on the previous subtest as the starting point for the following subtest. For example, if a student receives a raw score of 54 on the general information subtest, the suggested starting point for the reading recognition subtest would be stimulus 54. This procedure does not work efficiently for children who do not have equal abilities across subtests. Furthermore, if a person receives a raw score of 18 or less on the reading recognition subtest, the reading comprehension subtest is not administered and the score the person receives on the reading recognition subtest is also used as the person's score on the reading comprehension subtest. Therefore, kindergarten and first grade children, and persons with deficits in reading recognition may not actually be administered the reading comprehension subtest. Another area of concern addressed the inadequate "floor" for children at the youngest ages, and Costenbader and Adams did not recommend the test be administered to persons at the extremes of the age distribution. In addition, although the norm sample sizes are adequate for most age groups (i.e. approximately 100 subjects or more per age), they are not adequate for the age 5 group or the age 8 group. Costenbader and Adams concluded that additional studies of reliability and validity were needed.


Elisa Huff, PhD


Susan K. Niebel


Carrie Belatti-Griffin


Cassandra R. Torgerson



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