Using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised to predict vocational aptitudes of adolescents with learning disabilities
Brown, William Howard
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Recent national longitudinal studies of special education students indicate that schools should concentrate on developing students' skills matched to the requirements of their potential occupations. Evidence suggests that the experience of career development among adolescents with learning disabilities is especially frustrating without early exploration and planning. This study investigates the value of using available psychometric data in assisting the school psychologist and other professionals to make initial exploratory estimates of vocational aptitude without referring the student for specialized vocational assessment. General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) scores were used in multiple regression analyses to examine the predictive relationships existing between the two instruments. The population studied included 172 adolescents wi th learning disabilities enrolled in a public school division. The analyses in this study reveal a high degree of validity between the GATB and WAIS-R. However, the prediction equation appears unsuitable for using the WAIS-R subtests for predicting GATB aptitudes. Aptitude F explains the highest degree of variance. Other squared multiple regressions range as low as .13 for Aptitude Q to as high as .52 for Aptitude S. Results suggest that even though the GATB and WAIS-R share common variance, there is enough independent information provided by each test to warrant employing both in order to insure that the students' vocational aptitudes are fully diagnosed. Implications for school psychologists and other professionals doing exploratory assessments of vocational aptitude from available WAIS-R subtests are discussed, as are assessment issues regarding adolescents with learning disabilities.
- Doctoral Dissertations