Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Intelligence tests for preliterates; Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children;


Many theories concerning intelligence have been proposed throughout the years and have served as the bases for the development of an array of intelligence measures. A relatively new theory, proposed by Luria (1966a), postulated that intelligence involved simultaneous and successive processing. The simultaneous-successive theory served a.s the underlying basis for the recently developed intelligence test, the Kaufman-Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC). This test, published in 1983, has been correlated with many already established measures of achievement and intelligence (Kaufman & Kaufman, 1983). The K-ABC test includes a Simultaneous Processing scale, a Sequential Processing scale, a Mental Processing Composite scale, a Nonverbal scale, and an Achievement scale. While the K-ABC purports to be able to differentiate between learning disabled, behaviorally disabled, and mentally disabled children by observing the child's test profile and the child's reactions to various K-ABC tasks, the studies for these differentiations have been done primarily with school-age children. Only limited information exists as to the effectiveness of the K-ABC in differentiating children of preschool age. This research study was designed to gather information concerning the K-ABC's effectiveness in differentiating "high-risk" preschoolers identified as learning disabled, behaviorally disabled, and mentally disabled in order to provide practicing school psychologists with information relative to the appropriateness of the K-ABC for the differentiation of these groups of preschool children. It was hypothesized that there would be no significant differences among the three groups of preschool children on any of the K-ABC scales or subtests. A random sample of 60 children, 20 each of preschoolers, ages 3 years, 0 months to 5 years, 11 months, previously identified by an area educational evaluation team as learning disabled, behaviorally disabled, and mentally disabled were drawn from lists of such identified children provided by the local Area Education Agency. Permission was obtained from the parent or guardian of each selected child before his/her participation in the study. Due to nonparental permission and removal of some children from the area program, the final number of subjects in the study was 52: 18 learning disabled, 19 behaviorally disabled, and 15 mentally disabled. K-ABC administration to all subjects required a time span of 2 weeks and all tests were administered by a trained psychometrist at the preschool at which the child attended on a regular basis. Specific testing and scoring procedures were followed according to the K-ABC administration and scoring manual. The data analysis was completed using an analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedure with an alpha level of .05 set as the required level of significance. Results revealed significant differences between the mentally disabled group and both the behaviorally disabled and learning disabled groups on the Simultaneous Processing scale, and between the behaviorally disabled and mentally disabled groups on the Mental Processing Composite scale and on the Gestalt Closure subtest. These findings suggest that behaviorally disabled and learning disabled preschool children, ages 3 years, 0 months to 5 years, 11 months, use better simultaneous processing skills than mentally disabled children of the same age. These findings also suggest that behaviorally disabled children use better gestalt closure skills than their counterparts identified as mentally disabled. These findings warrant further investigation in view of the fact that analysis of K-ABC test protocols in regard to learning disabled, behaviorally disabled, and mentally disabled definitions reclassified 29 of the 52 study participants.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Marlene I. Strathe

Second Advisor

Donna B. Raschke

Third Advisor

Barry J. Wilson


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