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Extending the Cultural and Linguistic Validity of the Adjustment Scales for Preschool Intervention (ASPI) for Low-Income, Latino Children

Year: 2010
Name of Institution:
University of Miami
Goal: Measurement
Principal Investigator:
Shearer, Rebecca
Award Amount: $1,424,795
Award Period: 4 years
Award Number: R305A100233

Description:

Purpose: Latino children, many of whom are Spanish-speaking English language learners, are a growing segment of the preschool population. It is important for preschool educators and researchers to have access to valid and reliable measures of the school readiness skills of Latino preschool children. This includes measures of academic skills and assessments of emotional and behavioral adjustment. Although there are some available measures of children's early academic skills, few reliable and valid assessments of emotional and behavioral adjustment are available for use with low-income Latino preschoolers. The purpose of this study is to adapt the English version and develop a Spanish version of the Adjustment Scales for Preschool Intervention (ASPI) for use with diverse bilingual Spanish-speaking populations. The ASPI is a teacher report measure of children's emotional and behavioral (e.g., aggression, inattention/hyperactivity, withdrawn/low energy) adjustment in the preschool classroom.

Project Activities: The research team will develop and validate comparable Spanish and English Adjustment Scales for Preschool Intervention (ASPI) forms over a four-year period. The research team will develop scale items, collect data and conduct analyses to examine the validity of the Spanish and English ASPI forms.

Products: Products include a fully developed and validated measure of the emotional and behavioral adjustment of preschool-aged Spanish-speaking English learners, and a test manual.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The study will take place in urban Head Start preschool programs in Florida.

Population: Study participants include teachers and children from 180 preschool classrooms. The study participants are primarily African-American and Latino children from low-income backgrounds who are enrolled in center-based Head Start preschool programs.

Intervention: The products from this study will be fully developed and validated Spanish and English versions of the ASPI. The ASPI is a teacher report measure of children's emotional and behavioral (for example: aggression, inattention/hyperactivity, withdrawn/low energy) adjustment in the preschool classroom. The measure is used to provide descriptions of observable child behaviors that occur during the preschool day. The current version of the ASPI was developed to assess the emotional and behavioral adjustment of low-income children enrolled in early childhood programs in Pennsylvania. The research team will develop both Spanish and English versions of the measure for use with preschool teachers of varying literacy levels, educational background and training, and language proficiency .A Spanish and English test manual will also be developed.

Research Design and Methods: The research team will develop and validate comparable Spanish and English ASPI forms over a four-year period. In year 1, the research team will create initial Spanish and English ASPI forms, pilot test the measures, and conduct preliminary analyses. In years 2 through 4, the research team will collect child and teacher demographic information, direct child assessments of school readiness, and obtain child-level data collected by Head Start teachers. In years 2 and 3 of the study, the research team will conduct psychometric analyses to examine the underlying structure of the Spanish and English forms, and link and equate both forms. In year 4, the research team will conduct data analyses to evaluate the convergent and divergent validity of the ASPI, and examine whether the ASPI detects changes over time.

Control Condition: There is no control condition.

Key Measures: Key measures of the reliability and validity of the new Spanish forms of the ASPI includeratings of play behavior (Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale-teacher version), a language screener (Pre-LAS 2000), and academic achievement (Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement, Third Edition). The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment will be used as an assessment of children's classroom behavior. The Galileo System for the Electronic Management of Learning, an online system, will be used to track children's development and growth in eight Head Start readiness domains. Members of the research team will conduct classroom observations using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System and the Supports for English Language Learners Classroom Assessment.

Data Analytic Strategy: The data analytic methods will include exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, bivariate and multivariate correlational analyses, and multilevel individual growth-curve modeling.