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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 13 Issue 1 (1984) The Cognitive Functioning of American...
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Volume 13, Issue 1 (1984)

The Cognitive Functioning of American Indian Children: Moving from the WISC to the WISC-R

pp. 61—73

ABSTRACT The authors review 35 studies examining the performance of American Indians on the WISC,WPPSI and WAIS in order to lay the basis for an examination of the newer WISC-R research literature. Fifteen WISC-R studies provided a rather meager data base suggesting unique performance profiles characterized by low verbal subtest scores, selected elevated nonverbal subtest scores, typical and large performance IQ-verbal IQ discrepancies, subtest patterns differing from those for learning disabled subjects and significant intertribal variation.Factors which potentially influence Indian performance on the Wechsler are presented,including physiological factors such as otitis media, fetal alcohol syndrome and asymptomatic lead poisoning, neurological factors related to left-right hemisphere lateralization and asymmetries, and sociocultural factors relating to an emphasis upon nonverbal communication,regulation of conversational encounters and sociolinguistic rules/roles. Suggestions for examiner use and interpretation of the Wechsler Intelligence Scales with American Indians are offered.

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