Examining the Classification Accuracy of a Vocabulary Screening Measure With Preschool Children

This study investigated the classification accuracy of the Dynamic Indicators of Vocabulary Skills (DIVS) as a preschool vocabulary screening measure. With a sample of 240 preschoolers, fall and winter DIVS scores were used to predict year-end vocabulary risk using the 25th percentile on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test–Third Edition (PPVT-III) to denote risk status. Results indicated that DIVS Picture Naming Fluency (PNF) and Reverse Definition Fluency (RDF) demonstrated very good accuracy in classifying students according to year-end vocabulary risk status. The DIVS measures also demonstrated stronger accuracy than demographic characteristics known to be indicators of vocabulary difficulties (socioeconomic status, English learner [EL] status, and sex). Combining PNF and RDF did not result in sufficient improvement in accuracy to justify administering both measures as opposed to just one. Further examination of predictive probability values revealed the potential for DIVS measures to improve the precision of vocabulary risk identification over considering EL status alone. Overall, results supported the use of the DIVS as a brief and inexpensive tool for preschool vocabulary screening.

Marcotte, Amanda M., Clemens, Nathan H., Parker, Christopher, and Whitcomb, Sara A. (2016). Examining the Classification Accuracy of a Vocabulary Screening Measure With Preschool Children. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 41, 230-242

About rickyWburk

Ricky W. Burk, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, is a speech-language pathologist who provides in-home therapy for adolescents and adults residing in Tennessee and Mississippi who stutter. His career includes PreK, elementary, middle, and high school practice, undergraduate & graduate faculty appointments, skilled nursing, national & international consultation, private practice, and national & international speaking presentations. He holds the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence, and he is a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders. He is the ASHA Continuing Education Administrator for the National Association for Speech Fluency.
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