Effects of sex and label on performance ratings, children's test scores, and examiners' verbal behavior

N. B. Burdg, S. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The effect of sex and label on performance ratings, test scores, and verbal behavior were examined. Forty preschool children were randomly assigned by sex to one of four expectancy conditions: normal male, normal female, developmentally delayed male, and developmentally delayed female. All children were, in fact, nonhandicapped and had no diagnosis or record of learning problems. Ten examiners were randomly assigned one child from each of the four expectancy conditions. After hearing a description (labeled or nonlabeled) of the child's developmental status, each examiner administered the Animal House and Block Design subtests of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence to their respective child. Directions for administering the subtests were modified by encouraging the examiner to prompt the child verbally when necessary. The examiner rated the child's overall performance and scored the two subtests. Each testing session was video taped so that verbal prompts could be counted. The results of a multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the child's sex and the interaction between sex and label did not influence performance ratings, test scores, or the examiners' verbal behavior. The label 'developmentally delayed', however, had a negative impact on children's test scores and performance ratings. The number of verbal prompts was not differentially affected by the child's developmental status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Mental Deficiency
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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