Volume 28, Issue 2 (1999)
National Scales of Differential Learning Behaviors Among American Children and Adolescents
Paul A. McDermott
Abstract: This article presents the design, nationwide standardization, and validation of the Learning Behaviors Scale (LBS), a device that assesses differential patterns of classroom learning. A norm sample of 1,500 5- through 17-year-olds was stratified according to the U.S. Census by age, gender, academic level, ethnicity, family structure, disabling condition,national region, community size, and parent education. Orthogonal and oblique common factoring revealed 4 distinct and reliable dimensions of learning behavior: Competence Motivation, Attitude Toward Learning, Attention/Persistence, and Strategy/Flexibility.Invariance and generality of the dimensional structure was confirmed across random subsamples, age groups, gender, and ethnicity. Convergent validity was demonstrated with measures of cognitive ability and school achievement as was divergent validity against measures of behavior pathology. Incremental predictive validity (beyond intellective measures) and absence of ethnic bias were demonstrated for predictions of achievement test scores and teacher-assigned grades. Implications are discussed for research, screening,and intervention programs.
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