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Volume 13, Issue 1 (1984)

Response to a Critique of McShane and Plas Review

pp. 83—88

We are pleased to note that Brandt appreciates many of our presentation’s major points. She nicely summarizes our articulation of the issue that a high degree of variability in performance on the Wechsler scales by American Indian children can be conceptualized in terms of group variables which include such things as traditional cultural experience and English language proficiency. She finds our suggestion that some performance differences may be related to sociocultural factors a sound one. She points out that we appropriately recognize that physiological factors may relate to Indian performances and agrees that neurological factors are important to explore. Approximately 65 percent of her discussion is devoted to elaboration and extension of our presentation of the empirical research in the major areas we focus upon within the framework of our paper. For example, she spends some time discussing the importance of cultural variability and heterogeneity and apparently agrees with us that “A great deal of work needs to be undertaken before factors underlying Indian responses to the WISC-R can be identified accurately and reliably. It is apparent, however, that the language skills of Indian children are crucial to the characteristic WISC-R performance styles of these children”(McShane & Plas, this issue). Brandt reinforces the critical role of language in her material and our presentation of the importance of physiological factors. She devotes considerable space to an extension of our discussion of neurological factors and the sociocultural interactional factors that we find provocative.

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