The Performance of Low-Income, African American Children on the Preschool Language Scale—3 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 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2003
The Performance of Low-Income, African American Children on the Preschool Language Scale—3
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cathy Huaqing Qi, PhD
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Ann P. Kaiser
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Stephanie E. Milan
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Zina Yzquierdo
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Terry B. Hancock
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Contact author: Cathy Qi, PhD, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Department of Early Childhood and Special Education, Recitation Hall 303, West Chester, PA 19383. E-mail: cqi@wcupa.edu
  • *Currently affiliated with West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
    Currently affiliated with West Chester University of Pennsylvania.×
  • **Currently affiliated with Yale University, New Haven, CT.
    Currently affiliated with Yale University, New Haven, CT.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2003
The Performance of Low-Income, African American Children on the Preschool Language Scale—3
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2003, Vol. 46, 576-590. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/046)
History: Received June 18, 2002 , Accepted January 9, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2003, Vol. 46, 576-590. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/046)
History: Received June 18, 2002; Accepted January 9, 2003

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.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by grants from the Department of Health and Human Services (90YD0086), Administration on Children, Youth and Families (90YM002), and the National Institute of Mental Health (RO1MH54629) awarded to the second author, Ann P. Kaiser. The authors are indebted to Dan Reschly, Chair of the Department of Special Education, Vanderbilt University, for valuable methodological advice. Finally, we would like to extend our appreciation for their cooperation to the families who participated in the study.
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