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Language performance of low-income African American and European American preschool children on the PPVT-III

Purpose: The performance of low-income African American preschoolers (36 to 52 months old) on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Third Edition (PPVT-III; L. M. Dunn & L. M. Dunn, 1997) was examined to provide a norm for assessing the performance of this population and to explore the link between socioeconomic status (SES) and language scores on the PPVT-III. Method: Four hundred and eighty-two African American and 52 European American children in a comparison group were individually administered the PPVT-III. Results: On average, African American children performed approximately 1.5 SD below the expected mean based on national norms. Using standard cutoff scores, the PPVT-III identified more children as having language delays than did other measures of language abilities. Socioeconomic factors were related to PPVT-III scores, indicating that the degree of disadvantage within children with low SES was related to language abilities. Maternal education level, marital status, and the number of children in the household were uniquely associated with children's performance on the PPVT-III. Clinical Implications: The importance of supporting language development in preschool children from low-income families is discussed. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers
United States
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