An Examination of Cultural-linguistic Influences on PPVT-4 Performance in African American and Hispanic Preschoolers from Low-income Communities

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Informa Healthcare

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Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics

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In this study, we examined potential influences of cultural and linguistic background on PPVT-4 performance in a community sample of preschool-age children from low-SES households. We did this by evaluating PPVT-4 item-level performance across African American and Hispanic children from low-income families. We compared PPVT-4 item-level performance for 332 Hispanic and African American children (Mage = 48 months) using Wald chi-square tests of independence. There were clinically significant differences in accuracy on 14 PPVT-4 test items with most favouring the African American group. We then looked at the relationship between African American English use and PPVT-4 scores for a subset of 113 African American children (Mage = 49.9 months). A correlational analysis with PPVT-4 standard scores and a dialect density measure (DDM) in narratives revealed no association between these measures. We concluded that there were potential cultural-linguistic biases in PPVT-4 items that were not explained by income alone for the young Hispanic children.


Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, Vol. 34, No. 3 (2020): 242-255. DOI.