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Validation of the WISC-R for grade two French immersion students

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Title: Validation of the WISC-R for grade two French immersion students
Author: Neilsen, Barbara Jean
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program School Psychology
Copyright Date: 1983
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the appropriateness of the use of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) for assessment of French immersion students whose language of instruction at school has been solely French. To investigate this problem, the WISC-R performance of 29 grade two French immersion students was compared to that of 29 regular (English) program peers. The rationale for the present study was based on the fact that the WISC-R has been commonly administered to French immersion children and interpreted as if this group of children were identical to the population on whom the test was standardized. While previous research has indicated that British Columbia students attain higher WISC-R means and less variance than American students, no data were available to suggest how the performance of this linguistically different group, French immersion students, compared to that of students who received all formal education in their first language, English. All students obtained parental consent to participate in the study, came from homes in which English was the dominant language, and had been continuously enrolled from kindergarten through the end of grade two in their current academic programs. Groups were matched for gender and educational level of the head of the household. All testing and scoring were done by graduate students who had been trained and supervised in the use of the WISC-R. A multivariate analysis of variance was used to test the hypotheses of equal means and variances between the two groups on the 12 subtests and the Verbal and Performance factors. A univariate analysis was used to test the hypotheses of equal Full Scale means and variances between groups. Comparative results indicated that the central tendancies and variance-covariance structure for both the French immersion and the regular program groups, matched for educational level of parents, were essentially the same. Both the immersion and regular program groups had Verbal, Performance and Full Scale IQs in Wechsler's High Average category. Results of an ancillary analysis indicated that the 58 children in the present study had significantly higher Full Scale IQs than did a more representative British Columbia sample whose mean IQs were significantly higher than those published in the WISC-R manual. It was concluded that although interpretation of the results is confounded by possible initial differences between groups, the use of the WISC-R appears not to be disadvantageous to higher SES French immersion children whose main language of the home is English. Further, it was concluded that, for British Columbia children, use of the British Columbia norms for the age groups, 7½, 9½ and 11½ is more appropriate than use of the 1974 Wechsler norms.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/25193
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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