Date of Award

Fall 1986

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Taft, Thomas

Second Advisor

Raiche, Bernard

Third Advisor

Leslie, Lauren


The Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning - Revised (DIAL-R) is an untimed, team administered, individual developmental instrument which assesses motoric, conceptual and language skills for children ages two through six. It is one of few screening tests which purport to be able to identify potentially advanced children at these age levels. Use of the DIAL-Ras a screening device with kindergarten age children seems to result in overidentification of potentially advanced and leaves a sense that it is ineffective in its present form as a screening measure for gifted kindergarten children. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the DIAL-R in this application and, if not effective, to further investigate modifications of the classification procedures which may enhance its effectiveness. The subjects were 60 randomly selected non-repeating kindergarten children (34 boys and 26 girls) all of whom had been classified by the DIAL-Ras "Potential Advanced", based on the total DIAL-R score. Each child was administered the Slosson Intelligence Test (SIT) by a certified school psychologist. In addition, each child's respective teacher and parent completed Learning and Motivation Scales adapted from the Scales For Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students and, based on their eight months of working with the child, the teachers indicated their perception of the child's intellectual and academic abilities and status as a potential candidate for the local gifted program. Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlations, prediction-performance comparisons and discriminant analyses. The results revealed that using the total DIAL-R score vastly over-identified potentially advanced children with as little as 10 oercent of those so identified achieving Slosson IQ 130. Use of the area score method significantly reduced the rate of referral, but still resulted in a high referral rate. Modifications of the specified classification procedure were explored with positive results. However, it was generally concluded that the DIAL-R in its present format does not appear to be an efficient means of screening for potentially gifted kindergarten age children. Implications and the need for additional research in this area were discussed.



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