An analysis of verbal-performance difference scores obtained on the WPPSI by Mexican-American children

Date

1985

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Abstract

This study examined the verbal-performance difference scores obtained by Mexican-American children on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence and their relation to a selection of language, home environment and maternal background characteristics. All children were from either the program or control group of the Houston Parent-Child Development Center (PCDC), an experimental parent-child education program directed towards low SES Mexican-American families. Program children participated with their parents in the PCDC from age one to age three. Follow-up data was collected from age four to age six. Three blocks of predictor variables, maternal traditionalism, home environment and child language ability, were employed in a multiple regression model. The results found that the combination of all three blocks accounted for a significant portion of the variance for Verbal IQ, Performance IQ and the difference score. In addition, child language ability uniquely predicted Performance IQ, and the home environment uniquely predicted the difference score. A series of correlational analyses were performed. Competence in English was positively related to Performance IQ. Dominant language competence was related to both Verbal IQ and Performance IQ among control children. Program effects and sex differences were also examined. Overall, a very complex relationship between the intelligence test scores and the predictor variables was found.

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Keywords

Mexican American children, Education, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

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