Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A critical analysis of the CELF-4: The responsible clinician's guide to the CELF-4
by Crowley, Catherine Jane, Ph.D., Columbia University, 2010, 241; 3420871
Abstract (Summary)

Purpose: To provide an analysis of the accuracy and effectiveness of using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Fourth Edition (CELF-4) to identify students as having language-based disabilities.

Method: The CELF-4 is analyzed within the current standards set by the federal law on special education, the available research, preferred practice guidelines, and the statistical information provided in the CELF-4 Examiner's Manual. This study also analyzes the accuracy and effectiveness of the CELF-4 from varying perspectives such as English Language Learners, students who speak dialects other than Standard American English, economically disadvantaged students, and students with motor, attention, and memory limitations.

Conclusions: Despite the widespread use of the CELF-4 as a primary diagnostic tool in disability determinations, construct validity especially in its discriminant accuracy is weak; significant bias issues exist in many subtests especially for English Language Learners and speakers of dialects other than Standard American English; and standardization based on the U.S. census is unlikely to reflect the language norms of a student's speech community which is the standard for identifying a language disability. Nonetheless, student performance on the CELF-4 can provide insight regarding a student's strengths and weakness that may be useful as part of a disability determination. Particular CELF-4 subtests provide valuable information about a student's language skills but disability determinations based on scaled scores or standard scores derived from the CELF-4 should be avoided.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Saxman, John H.
Commitee:
School: Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 71/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Speech therapy, Special education, Quantitative psychology
Keywords: Bias, Clinician's guide, Construc validity, Dialects, Disbility determinations, Discriminant accuracy
Publication Number: 3420871
ISBN: 9781124185682