Advisor

Mary Gordon

Date of Award

2-1975

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication

Department

Speech

Physical Description

1 online resource (96 pages)

Subjects

Boehm test of basic concepts, Concept learning, Speech and social status. Child development

DOI

10.15760/etd.2035

Abstract

The primary purpose of the investigation was to compare the responses of white, lower-class kindergartners and first graders with white, middle-class kindergartners and first graders on the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts (BTBC) in order to determine if a statistically significant difference existed between socioeconomic level and the number of concepts correctly identified on the BTBC. A secondary purpose was to determine is a significant relationship existed between concept development as measure by the BTBC and intelligence from an assessment of receptive vocabulary by using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT).

One hundred white, lower middle socioeconomic level children from two elementary schools in Portland were selected as subjects to be included in this study. Variable controlled were grade level, auditory acuity, emotional stability, and sooioeconomioc status.

The BTBC consists of fifty pictorial items, arranged in approximate order of difficulty and divided evenly between two booklets. Included in the fifty items are twenty-three spatial concepts, four time concepts, eighteen quantity concepts, and five concepts classified as miscellaneous. The PPVT was used to provide an estimate of subject’s verbal intelligence though a measurement of his receptive vocabulary. On both tests, the subject was instructed to point to the picture representing the stimulus item.

The results of this study revealed a relationship exists between socioeconomic status and the number of concepts correctly identified on the BTBC. This relationship was observed when the lower-class subjects were compared with their middle-class peers at each grade level, when all kindergarteners were compared to all first graders, and in a comparison of the fifty lower-class and fifty middle-class subjects.

The subjects of the middle socioeconomic level tended to identify more concepts correctly than the subjects of the lower socioeconomic level, while the first grade subjects, generally, identified more concepts correctly than the kindergartners. An analysis of the conceptual areas of space, time, and quantity revealed that socioeconomic status was related to the number of concepts correctly identified when the fifty lower-class subjects were compared to the fifty middle-class subjects. The children of the middle-class identified more concepts correctly in each area than the lower-class subjects. Grade level also was related to the number of concepts correctly identified in each of' the concept areas. The first graders tended to identify more concepts in each area than the kindergarteners. When the scores of the lower- and middleclass subjects at the kindergarten level were compared, there was no relationship between socioeconomic status and the number of concepts correctly identified in each of the three areas. No relationship was observed between the scores of the two groups of first graders on the spatial concepts. Socioeconomic level, however, did effect the number of time and quantity concepts correctly identified. The subjects of the middle socioeconomic level, generally, identified more time and quantity concepts correctly than the subjects of the lower socioeconomic level.

These results suggest a higher .degree of abstraction abilities may be found with increased age and a higher socioeconomic level. The findings also tend to support the views of many researchers in the field of conceptual development who have stated that the language of the disadvantaged child inhibits his ability to abstract.

Results of a Pearson's Product-Moment correlation calculated between the subjects’ scores on each of the tests indicated no significant correlation between the children's I.Q. scores and the number of concepts correctly identified.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12867

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