ERIC Number: ED236202
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Systematic Bias in the Assessment of Handicapped Children.
Fuchs, Douglas; And Others
Prior research demonstrates that examiner unfamiliarity negatively affects the optimal performance of handicapped preschoolers. The present investigation sought to determine whether examiner unfamiliarity also interferes with the optimal performance of handicapped school-age pupils and nonhandicapped children. Sixty-four subjects (16 language-handicapped and 16 nonhandicapped preschoolers and 16 language-handicapped and 16 nonhandicapped school-age students) were tested twice during a period of 2 weeks, once by a familiar examiner and once by an unfamiliar examiner, within a crossover design. A significant interaction was obtained for examiner familiarity and handicapped status, indicating that whereas nonhandicapped subjects scored similarly when tested by familiar and unfamiliar examiners, handicapped children scored higher with the familiar tester. Thus, findings indicated that examiner unfamiliarity negatively affects both language-handicapped preschool and school-age children's performance relative to a normative population; it appears to depress selectively handicapped children's test performance, thereby indicating that an examiner's unfamiliarity constitutes a negatively, systematically biasing condition and threatens the validity of handicapped students' test performance. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Inst. for Research on Learning Disabilities.