Date of Award

Summer 1991

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Loft, Thomas B.

Second Advisor

Ivanoff, John

Third Advisor

Fox, Robert


Rehabilitation psychology often involves the neuropsychological assessment of behavioral deficits related to brain-injury. In practice, psychologists engaged in this effort frequently use tests that have been poorly standardized or use well established tests in nontraditional ways. The Bender-Gestalt test has been proposed as a screening test for visual memory deficits when presented in a three-phase format. Unfortunately, little practical information is available as to the performance that would be expected of a normal, non-brain-injured adult, when the test is employed in this way. This study sought to shed light on that performance. Research questions included investigation of the relative effects of IQ and age on performance. The study also investigated the possibility of adapting a variation of the Pascal & Suttell scoring system to better allow for direct comparison of group scores for research studies. The study included 103 subjects between the ages of 20 and 73. Subjects completed the Quick Test as an IQ measure; the tachistoscopic, copy and immediate memory presentations of the Bender-Gestalt; an interference procedure (the Memory-for-Designs test); a post interference recall procedure; and a recognition procedure. The scoring system was evaluated for inter-rater reliability. Canonical correlation techniques were used to assess the relative effects of IQ and age on performance. Results indicated that the adapted scoring system provided reasonable inter-rater reliability. In spite of some problem with the system as a whole, it did allow direct comparison of subject groups. IQ was not found to affect overall performance for this subject group, who all scored in the average or above range on the IQ measure employed. Age, however, was found to be a factor in performance, with older subjects demonstrating poorer performance than younger subjects. Examination of test scores indicated that older and younger subjects recalled the designs with relative accuracy, but that older subjects recalled significantly fewer designs overall. Detailed accounting of errors specific to each design was provided. The study included discussion of problems encountered with scoring and suggestions for future research.



Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?