Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children; Learning disabilities;


This study examined the stability of the WISC-R Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale IQ scores as well as subtest scores for a sample of learning disabled students over a 3-year interval. Additionally, this study also explored the relationship of stability of WISC-R IQ scores with severity of learning disability, as defined by type of educational placement (resource room, self-contained class with integration, or self-contained class with no integration). The subjects for this study were 150 learning disabled students, 111 males and 39 females, selected from two Area Education Agencies located in Iowa. Of these 150 students, 97 were placed in resource rooms, while 25 were placed in self-contained classes with integration, and 28 were placed in self-contained classes with no integration. Permission was granted by Area Education Agency administrator·s to conduct student record reviews to record results of WISC-Rs administered at least 3 years apart. Data were analyzed to determine if WISC-R Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale IQ scores as well as subtest scores were significantly different after a 3-year interval. T-tests for correlated means were used to test for significance at the .05 level. Also explored was the relationship between IQ stability and severity of learning disability. To test this hypothesis, students' scores were grouped into categories according to their current educational placement. An analysis of variance was perfor·roed to determine the presence of statistical differences. The p < .05 significance level was used. T-test results revealed significant differences between test administrations for both the Perfor·mance Scale and the Full Scale WISC-R IQ scores. One Performance subtest score, Picture Arrangement, also yielded a significant difference. While all significant differences noted were increases in scores, these increases were considered to be small in terms of clinical significance and may have been influenced by practice effects to some degree. Results of the analysis of variance revealed that no two groups were significantly different in terms of IQ stability suggesting no apparent relationship between IQ score stability and severity of learning disability. The data collected in this study supported the conclusion that WISC-R scores are stable for learning disabled students even after a 3-year interval. The data also suggested that WISC-R scores are stable for learning disabled students of differing levels of severity as well. More frequent testing of students in more restrictive placements, therefore, does not appear warranted. In terms of consistency of IQ scores, the data analyzed in the present study indicated that little may be gained by the routine readministration of the WISC-R in 3-year reevaluations. Unless questions are raised about the validity of the original assessment, this information may be of limited value.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Barry J. Wilson

Second Advisor

Catherine W. Hatcher

Third Advisor

Marlene I. Strathe


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