Volume 23, Issue 4 (1994)
Wechsler Subtest Analysis: The Right Way, the Wrong Way, or No Way?
Marley W. Watkins, Joseph C. Kush
Methods of Wechsler subtest analysis have been challenged on both statistical and theoretical grounds with normative, rather than ipsative, methods recommended. Cluster analysis has previously been applied to the WISC-R standardization sample and resulted in identification of seven core profile types distinguished primarily by levels of global ability. This study compared the WISC-R profiles of 1,222 special education students to those seven core types. More than 96% of the special education cases were found to be probabilistically similar to one of the core types identified in the standardization sample, and were therefore considered to be common variants of normal intellectual abilities. Only 3.6% of the clinical cases were unique in that they could not be categorized into one of the seven core profile types. No regularity was found in their deviations from normality and statistically homogeneous subgroups could not be formed. It was concluded that these unique profiles reflected essentially random and uninterpretable subtest variation. Based upon these data and other literature on subtest profile analysis, it was recommended that Uno way” be the response to Wechsler subtest analysis.
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