A study of the concurrent validity of two measures used as estimates of potential: A traditional IQ test and a test of listening comprehension

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

R. Scott Baldwin - Committee Chair


One common criterion used to identify individuals with reading disabilities is evidence of a severe discrepancy between estimated reading potential and reading achievement. The purpose of this study was to provide information regarding the concurrent validity of two estimates of reading potential: a traditional intelligence test and a test of listening comprehension. Subjects were 153 second grade students. Each subject's reading potential was estimated using both IQ and listening comprehension as predictors in two separate regression procedures. Estimated scores were then compared to observed reading achievement to compute two discrepancy scores for each subject, one based on an IQ test as a predictor and the other based on a test of listening comprehension as a predictor. Concurrent validity was established by: (1) correlating residuals from the two regression procedures, (2) using the two methods to identify subjects achieving below estimated potential by 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 standard deviations, and (3) correlating teacher judgments of student performance as at or below potential with results of the IQ and listening comprehension predictions. The Pearson correlation between the residuals was.89, $p < .01.$ The IQ and listening comprehension methods identified almost all of the same subjects as reading below potential. However, the listening comprehension method also identified a group of low IQ subjects which was not identified by the IQ method. Spearman rank order correlations between teacher judgments and IQ-based predictions as well as between teacher judgments and listening comprehension-based predictions were.54 and.56 respectively. These results support the validity of listening comprehension tests as estimates of potential in the identification of individuals with reading disabilities.


Education, Tests and Measurements; Education, Special; Education, Reading

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