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					                                                          DEVELOPMENT OF THE TEST OF INFERENCING
                                                                                                             KELSEY DEPEW; TINA K. VEALE, PH.D.
                                                                                                               EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
                                                                                                             Sample Items
                                                                                                             Type                                                                        Acceptable               Unacceptable
Background                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Conclusions
Inferencing is the ability to make judgments based upon limited information. It is                          1. Location   Ashley had to be quiet as                                     library                                            Performance of neurotypical children on The Test of Inferencing varied based on age:
necessary for basic problem solving, negotiating social interactions, and comprehension of                                 she looked for a book to                                                                                              oThe three groups performed significantly different from one another [F( 1;10)=5.06;
oral and written language (Botting & Adams, 2005; Richards & Anderson, 2003).                                              check out. Where is                                                                                                    p=.05].
                                                                                                                           Ashley?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 oGroup 1 (6-7 yr. olds) performed significantly worse than Group 2 (8-9 yr. olds)
Inferencing provides a foundation for Theory of Mind (ToM; citation).                                       2. Agent      Tomorrow Charlie has to g                                     dentist,                 doctor                          [t(10)=2.25; p=.05] and Group 3 (10-12 yr. olds) [t(13)=2.37; p=.03].
                                                                                                                           et his teeth checked. W                                       dental                                                  oGroup 2 (8-9 yr. olds) did not perform significantly worse than Group 3 (10-12 yr.
Few studies have examined inferencing skills.                                                                             ho is Charlie going to se                                     hygienist                                                olds) [t(11)=0.54; p>.05].
    oLack of consensus regarding the development of inferencing abilities of neurotypical                                  e?
                                                                                                             3. Time       Dad woke me up to look a                                      night, middle                                      Performance of neurotypical children on The Test of Inferencing varied based on type of
      children (Sodian & Wimmer, 1987; Keenan, Tuffman, & Olson; 1994).
                                                                                                                           t the bright stars. When                                      of the night                                       inference as follows:
    oChildren with language impairment and those with high functioning autism have
                                                                                                                           did this happen?                                                                                                       oGroup 1 (6-7 yr. olds) performed significantly different on the various inference types
      more limited inferencing abilities than typically developing peers (Letts & Leinonen,
                                                                                                             4. Action     Sam pedaled quickly                                           riding a bike pedaling                                    [F(9;60)=2.79; p=.008].
      2001; Norbury & Bishop, 2002; Botting & Adams, 2005).
                                                                                                                           down the sidewalk. What                                                                                                oGroup 2 (8-9 yr. olds) did not perform significantly different on the various inference
                                                                                                                           is Sam doing?                                                                                                           types [F(9;40)=0.87; p>.05].
Research Questions                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oGroup 3 (10-12 yr. olds) performed significantly different on the various inference
Do the inferencing abilities of neurotypical children vary based on age?                                    5. Instrument Holly needed help with a                                      calculator,              math
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   types [F(9;70)=2.01; p=.05].
                                                                                                                           hard multiplication                                           computer
Do the inferencing abilities of neurotypical children vary based on type of inference?                                    problem. She typed in the                                                                                        For all age groups:
                                                                                                                           numbers and pushed                                                                                                    oLocation inferences were significantly easier than agent inferences [t(19)=2.12;
                                                                                                                           equal to find the answer.                                                                                              p=.05]; category inferences [t(19)=2.48; p=.02]; and cause-effect inferences
Methodology                                                                                                                What did she use?                                                                                                      [t(19)=3.84; p=.001].
Group comparative design                                                                                    6. Category   Sarah first put on her                                        jewelry                                                 oLocation inferences were similar in difficulty to time inferences [t(19)=1.71; p>.05];
                                                                                                                           pearl necklace and                                                                                                     action inferences [t(19)=1.68; p>.05]; instrument inferences [t(19)=1.0; p>.05];
The researchers developed the Test of Inferencing based upon Johnson and von Hoff                                         bracelets. She then added                                                                                              object inferences [t(19)=.65; p>.05]; problem solving inferences [t(19)=.78; p>.05];
Johnson’s (1986) ten inference types.                                                                                      earrings and a ring. What                                                                                              and feelings/attitudes inferences [t(19)=.22; p>.05].
                                                                                                                           is Sarah putting on?
5 items were created for each inference type yielding 50 total test items.
                                                                                                             7. Object     Grandpa climbed up high                                       ladder
                                                                                                                           to clean the gutters. How
For each item, the examiner verbally presented a one to four sentence scenario followed                                   did he get so high?
by a question. Answers required subjects to infer information.
                                                                                                             8. Cause-     Lisa got all of the words                                     She studied, She’s smart
                                                                                                             Effect        right on her spelling test.                                   practiced,
Subjects were selected based upon the following criteria: average language and
                                                                                                                           Why?                                                          cheated
cognitive development based on average grade level performance; normal hearing acuity;
                                                                                                             9. Problem-   Julie needs to get                                            get          get help, ask
English as primary language.
                                                                                                             Solution      something out of a                                            something to parent
                                                                                                                           cupboard that she can’t                                       stand on, ask
Subjects were divided into three groups (N=20)                                                                                                                                          someone
                                                                                                                           reach. What should she
    oGroup 1: 6 to 7 year olds (n=7)                                                                                                                                                     taller
                                                                                                                           do?
    oGroup 2: 8 to 9 year olds (n=5)
    oGroup 3: 10 to 12 year olds (n=8)                                                                       10. Feelings- Ben’s mom raised her                                          mad, angry,
                                                                                                             Attitude      voice when he didn’t                                          frustrated
The Test of Inferencing was modified based upon initial pilot data:                                                       share the crayons with his
                                                                                                                           sister. How does Ben’s
    Responses that occurred 25% or more of the time during pilot administration were
                                                                                                                           mom feel?
      added to the list of acceptable responses for that test item.
    Questions missed 50% or more of the time were eliminated from raw score totals for
      each subject. These questions will be modified in the final version of the test.
                                                                                                             Future Research
                                                                                                             Do neurotypical 4-5 year olds perform significantly different than
                                                                                                             other age groups previously piloted?
Results
             Group 1                           Group 2                             Group 3                   Do children with language impairment or autism spectrum
                           CASL
                                                            CASL
                                                                                                 CASL
                                                                                                             disorders have significantly different inferencing abilities than age-
        % accuracy                        % accuracy     Inferencing          % accuracy
                        Inferencing                                                           Inferencing    matched neurotypical peers?
 CA      on Test of       Subtest      CA on Test of       Subtest     CA      on Test of       Subtest
        Inferencing                       Inferencing     Standard            Inferencing
                      Standard Score                                                        Standard Score
                                                            Score                                            References
 6;2        50         below norms      8;6   95.6          100        10;0      78.2           96           Botting, N., & Adams, C. (2005). Semantic and inferencing abilities in children with communication disorders. International
                                                                                                                Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 40, 49–66.
                                                                                                             Carrow-Woolfolk, E. (1999). Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language. Greenville, SC: Super Duper Publications.
 6;8       95.6        below norms     8;10   91.3          83         10;3      86.9           90           Johnson, D. D., & von Hoff Johnson, B. (1986). Highlighting vocabulary in inferential comprehension. Journal of Reading, 29,
                                                                                                                622-625.
 6;10      67.3        below norms     8;11   91.3          118        10;4      95.6           106          Keenan, T., Ruffman, T., & Olson, D. R., (1994). When do children begin to understand logical inference as a source of
                                                                                                                knowledge? Cognitive Development, 9, 331-353.
 7;7       84.8           92            9;1   97.8          103        10;8      91.3           87           Letts, C. & Leinonen, E. (2001). Comprehension of inferential meaning in language-impaired and language normal children.
                                                                                                                International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 36, 307-328.
 7;7       73.9           83            9;3   86.9          106        11;2      95.6           128          Norbury, C. F. & Bishop, D. V. M. (2002). Inferential processing and story recall in children with communication problems: A
                                                                                                                comparison of specific language impairment, pragmatic language impairment and high-functioning autism. International
 7;8        76            96                                           12;3      86.9           99              Journal of Language & Communication Disorders , 37(3), 227-251.
                                                                                                             Richards, J. C. & Anderson, N. A. (2003). How do you know? A strategy to help emergent readers make inferences.
 7;11      89.1           109                                          12;8      100            101             The Reading Teacher, 57, 290-293.
                                                                                                             Sodian, B. & Wimmer, H. (1987). Children’s understanding of inference as a source of knowledge. Child Development, 58,
                                                                       12;9      91.3           62              424-433.
                                                                                                             Spector, C. C. (2006). Between the lines: Enhancing inferencing skills. Greenville, SC: Super Duper Publications.

				
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