Language-delayed preschoolers are a heterogeneous population with diverse language skills and needs. Research has demonstrated the need for more psychometrically sound assessment instruments to accurately identify preschoolers with language delays and their specific subtypes in the general preschool population. Research has also demonstrated the Differential Ability Scales to be an effective and psychometrically sound assessment measure for differentiating among preschoolers across a broad range of skills and abilities. The purpose of this study was to examine the utility of the Differential Ability Scales in distinguishing language-delayed preschoolers and specific subtypes of language delays in the general preschool population. It was hypothesized that the response patterns of language-delayed preschoolers would significantly differ from those without language delays. It was further expected that the DAS would be effective in differentiating between preschoolers with expressive, receptive, pragmatic, articulation, and mixed speech delays. The present results indicated that language-delayed preschoolers had significantly lower GCA, Verbal, and Nonverbal cluster, and subtest scores on the DAS compared to preschoolers without language delays. These results also indicated that preschoolers with different types of language delays would have different response patterns across the DAS GCA, ability clusters, and subtests.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cognition in children--Testing; Achievement tests; Psychological tests for children

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Department of Psychology (CLA)


Merydith, Scott


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