The Performance of Low-Income, African American Children on the Preschool Language Scale--3

Qi, Cathy Huaqing; Kaiser, Ann P.; Milan, Stephanie E.; Yzquierdo, Zina; Hancock, Terry B.
June 2003
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2003, Vol. 46 Issue 3, p576
Academic Journal
This study examined the performance of 701 low-income African American preschoolers (36 to 52 months old) on the Preschool Language Scale-3 (PLS-3, I. L. Zimmerman, V. G. Steiner, & R. E. Pond, 1992). On average, African American children performed about 1 SD below the expected means for their ages on both the Expressive Communication and Auditory Comprehension subscales. Independent sample t tests showed no significant differences between African American children and a comparison sample of 50 European American children. Item analysis was used to examine the potentially problematic items of the PLS-3 for each age cohort of children. We found that 6 items appeared to be particularly difficult for the African American sample. The findings suggest that the PLS-3 is generally an informative language test for African American preschoolers; however, scores should be interpreted with caution.


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