Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Education Specialist


The classification and correlational validity of the DIAL-R was investigated for an at-risk population of preschoolers. Fifty-four preschool children (mean age 60.87 months) were administered the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning-Revised (DIALR) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence- Revised (WPPSI-R). The classification agreement between the DIAL-R and WPPSI-R was high (.89) and statistically significant (Chi-Square(l) =19.01); however, the DIAL-R failed to identify six children in need of services resulting in a sensitivity index of .40. The DIAL-R did not over identify any children resulting in a specificity index of 1.00. The DIAL-R was found to correlate moderately with the WPPSI-R (r= .66, p <.01). Correlations between the WPPSI-R and DIAL-R subscales were moderate and significant at the £ <.01 level (range r = .37 to r = .69). The DIAL-R produced significantly higher total group scores than the WPPSIR. Within measure analyses for mean differences for race, gender, age, and risk factors were not significant. Overall, results support the use of the DIAL-R as an accurate and valid screening instrument for preschool children. However, preschool programs should carefully investigate the ramifications of selected cutoffs. If overreferral is the goal, then the recommended cutoff by the DIAL-R authors of 1.5 SD from the Total score may not be appropriate, given that it failed to identify six children in need of services.


Education | Psychology