Comparing Parental Report to Standardized Assessment Scores in Communication
Objectives: It is hypothesized that parents will rate their children as being more proficient in communication skills on a parent-report measure than results indicate on the Verbal Skills scale of a cognitive functioning assessment. This discrepancy is expected based on the unique relationship between parents and their children and the resulting difference in communication parents have with their children compared to an individual with whom the children are less familiar.
Methods: Participants included 41 children (Males n=31, Females n=10) evaluated at a community-based developmental assessment clinic. Ages of participants ranged from 30 to 72 months (µ= 51.1 months) and they were assessed using the Vineland, Second Edition, Parent/Caregiver Rating Form (Vineland-II) and the Differential Ability Scales, Second Edition, Early Years Battery (DAS-II). The sample consisted of 35.1% Caucasian, 40.5% Hispanic, 21.6% Asian Americans, and 2.7% biracial participants. All participants were at-risk for autism spectrum disorder, as determined by a phone screening method. However, not all participants were ultimately diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Results: As hypothesized, there was not a correlation (r= .294, p= .073) found between the subjects on the DAS-II Verbal Skills scale and the Vineland-2 Communication domain.
Conclusions: These results suggest that parents/caregivers may unintentionally inflate Vineland-II Communication scores due to the unique relationship between parents and their children. Additionally, the resulting difference in communication parents have with their children compared to an individual with whom the child is less familiar (e.g., the examiner) may serve to inflate scores. Such findings are crucial as they can help to determine how different sources of information should be considered in the evaluation process.