ERIC Number: EJ793445
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Assessing Child and Adolescent Pragmatic Language Competencies: Toward Evidence-Based Assessments
Russell, Robert L.; Grizzle, Kenneth L.
Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, v11 n1-2 p59-73 Jun 2008
Using language appropriately and effectively in social contexts requires pragmatic language competencies (PLCs). Increasingly, deficits in PLCs are linked to child and adolescent disorders, including autism spectrum, externalizing, and internalizing disorders. As the role of PLCs expands in diagnosis and treatment of developmental psychopathology, psychologists and educators will need to appraise and select clinical and research PLC instruments for use in assessments and/or studies. To assist in this appraisal, 24 PLC instruments, containing 1,082 items, are assessed by addressing four questions: (1) Can PLC domains targeted by assessment items be reliably identified?, (2) What are the core PLC domains that emerge across the 24 instruments?, (3) Do PLC questionnaires and tests assess similar PLC domains?, and (4) Do the instruments achieve content, structural, diagnostic, and ecological validity? Results indicate that test and questionnaire items can be reliably categorized into PLC domains, that PLC domains featured in questionnaires and tests significantly differ, and that PLC instruments need empirical confirmation of their dimensional structure, content validity across all developmental age bands, and ecological validity. Progress in building a better evidence base for PLC assessments should be a priority in future research.
Descriptors: Autism, Psychologists, Content Validity, Children, Adolescents, Clinical Diagnosis, Psychopathology, Pragmatics, Language Skills, Behavior Problems, Questionnaires, Evaluation Methods, Interpersonal Competence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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