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.