Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Reading disability; Educational tests and measurements;


Evidence exists that children retarded in reading achievement perform poorly on sequential tasks (Jorm, 1983) like the WISC-R Digit Span subtest. Success on the WISC-R Digit Span depends on maintaining the order of the digits presented. An additional task in the Digit Span subtest is repeating the digits backwards but still maintaining the order. The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) has a subscale called the Sequential Processing Scale consisting of three subtests that all measure sequential processing (Kaufman & Kaufman, 1983). The subtests are: Hand Movements, Number Recall, and Word Order. Hand Movements consists of a series of hand gestures that must be repeated in the same order of presentation. Number Recall requires the repetition of a series of digits. The Word Order subtest requires the subject to touch a series of silhouettes in the same order that they were named by the examiner. A sample of 20 children from third, fourth and fifth grades participated in the study. The sample consisted of children who had been previously identified as learning disabled with the primary disability being in reading (LD-R, n = 7) and children who had not been identified as learning disabled and had obtained C.A.T. scores between 45 and 70 (ND-R, n = 13). The purpose of the study was to determine if children who are retarded in reading achievement perform significantly lower on the K-ABC Sequential Processing Scale subtests than they do on the WISCR Digit Span. It was hypothesized that there would be no differences among or between the groups on the WISC-R Digit Span and the K-ABC Sequential Processing Scale subtests. Significant differences between LD-R and ND-R students were found on the WISC-R Digit Span, K-ABC Hand Movements, and K-ABC Number Recall. The differences were not significant for the Word Order subtest of the K-ABC. Significant differences were found between the WISC-R Digit Span and the K-ABC Word Order, Number Recall, and Hand Movements subtests when given to LD-R students. For the ND-R students the differences were significant between the WISC-R Digit Span and Hand Movements. There were no significant differences between the WISC-R Digit Span and the K-ABC Number Recall and Word Order subtests when given to ND-R students. Due to confidentiality concerns, the assumption that the LD-R group was appropriately identified and that their primary disability was in reading may not have been correct as this information could not be independently confirmed. There also was no independent control over the selection of subjects or schools that were to participate in the study. It is possible that the K-ABC Sequential Processing Scale subtests do not measure the same abilities or processing skills that are measured in the WISC-R Digit Span. There also may have been a practice effect due to the order of presentation of the subtests that was not controlled for in this study. Conversely, the subjects and school chosen may have been representative of LD-R and ND-R students and the results obtained reflected the performance of these groups on the specific subtests given. If the results are representative of the LD-R and ND-R populations, then these specific subtests may be useful for the possible identification of LD-R students. Implications for future research may also include the correlation of these subtests with specific reading measures for LD-R students.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Donald W. Schmits

Second Advisor

Lawrence L. Kavich

Third Advisor

David W. Moore


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