Using the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning - third edition as a screener for young children: a comparison of the psychometric properties between the English and Spanish-speaking standardization samples
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Demographic data show that public schools are faced with meeting the academic demands of a population that is becoming more ethnically and linguistically diverse. Preventative steps can give schools the opportunity to address the needs of its students before systemic inefficiencies can negatively impact student academic outcomes. For this reason, it is important that school psychologists remain vigilant regarding the most efficient and cost effective means to identify problems early. Since Spanish is the most prevalent language of children in the schools other than English, there is a need for school psychologists to find screening instruments that are specifically designed to convey an accurate representation of the abilities of this population. One screening instrument that has been posited as effective in assessing both English and Spanish-speakers is the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning - Third Edition (DIAL-3). The purpose of this study is to expand the work of the DIAL-3 authors to include more detailed information regarding its reliability and validity for the Spanish speaking sample. This study was conducted using the data from the standardization samples of both the English and the Spanish versions of the DIAL-3. Given the nature of the instrument, the obtained reliability estimates, computed using Cronbach's (alpha), fell within the expected range. Reliability estimate comparisons between English and Spanish-speaking samples were not statistically significant with the exception of the reliability comparisons in two domains of the DIAL-3 in the 3 years 0 months to 3 years 5 months age range. Results from additional statistical analyses conducted for this study support the discriminant validity of the test. However, a moderate linear relationship was found between the Concepts and Language Domains (r = .61, p <.01). In addition, a series of confirmatory factor analyses were conducted in order to determine the invariance of the variance-covariance matrices between the English and Spanish standardization samples. The four fit indices examined (GFI, CFI, NFI, and RMSEA) for the constrained model were within the acceptable limits. These results indicate that the three-factor model originally proposed by the test authors is adequate for both the English and Spanish versions of the DIAL-3.
Garcia de Alba, Roman (2003). Using the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning - third edition as a screener for young children: a comparison of the psychometric properties between the English and Spanish-speaking standardization samples. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from