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Another look at the influence of maternal education on preschoolers' performance on two norm-referenced measures

The purpose of this study was (a) to describe the performance of preschool children from families with college-educated mothers on two norm-referenced measures, the Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4) and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Tests-III (PPVT-III), and (b) to compare the findings with Qi and colleagues who reported PLS and PPVT scores for children from lower income families. The study involved a secondary analysis of previously collected PLS-4 and PPVT-III data. Participants included 146 typically developing preschoolers who attended preschools serving primarily children from college-educated mothers. Mean standard scores on both measures were at the upper end or exceeded one standard deviation above the normative mean with distributions that approximated normal. Means also greatly exceeded the lower socioeconomic status (SES) group means reported by Qi and colleagues. These results suggest that subsample norms, based on SES, yield multiple distinct but overlapping distributions. Thus, test developers should consider providing subsample norms in addition to traditional population-based norms. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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