PIAT Reading (Reading Recognition/Reading Comprehension)

PIAT Reading (Reading Recognition/Reading Comprehension)

 

PIAT Reading Recognition

Created variables

RECOGyyyy. PIAT READING RECOGNITION: TOTAL RAW SCORE
RECOGZyyyy. PIAT READING RECOGNITION: TOTAL STANDARD SCORE
RECOGPyyyy. PIAT READING RECOGNITION: TOTAL PERCENTILE SCORE
PRR_ERRORyyyy. PIAT READING RECOGNITION: TOTAL # OF ERRORS BETWEEN BASAL AND CEILING(available 2000 - current survey round)
PRR_BASALyyyy. PIAT READING RECOGNITION:  FINAL BASAL (available 2000 - current survey round)

The Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT) Reading Recognition subtest, one of five in the PIAT series, measures word recognition and pronunciation ability, essential components of reading achievement.  Children read a word silently, then say it aloud.  PIAT Reading Recognition contains 84 items, each with four options, which increase in difficulty from preschool to high school levels.  Skills assessed include matching letters, naming names, and reading single words aloud.  To quote directly from the PIAT manual, the rationale for the reading recognition subtest is as follows:

"In a technical sense, after the first 18 readiness-type items, the general objective of the reading recognition subtest is to measure skills in translating sequences of printed alphabetic symbols which form words, into speech sounds that can be understood by others as words.  This subtest might also be viewed as an oral reading test.  While it is recognized that reading aloud is only one aspect of general reading ability, it is a skill useful throughout life in a wide range of everyday situations in or out of school" (Dunn and Markwardt 1970: 19-20).  The authors also recognize that "performance on the reading recognition subtest becomes increasingly confounded with the acculturation factors as one moves beyond the early grades."

This assessment is administered, in the Child Supplement (available on the Questionnaires page), to children below young adult age whose PPVT age is five and over.  The scoring decisions and procedures are identical to those described for the PIAT Mathematics assessment. 

Description of PIAT Reading Recognition

A description of the administration process and a list of the words uttered by the interviewer are included in the public user version of the Child Supplement.  The only difference in the implementation procedures between the PIAT Mathematics and PIAT Reading Recognition assessments is that the entry point into the Reading Recognition assessment is based on the child's score in the Mathematics assessment, although entering at the correct point is not essential to the scoring.

Through 2008, Child respondents who terminated the PIAT Math prematurely began the PIAT Reading Recognition assessment with the same starting point question as  PIAT Math, based on the respondent’s grade in school. Beginning in 2010, children who terminated the PIAT Math assessment prematurely began PIAT Reading Recognition at question 19, regardless of grade in school. Children who terminated PIAT Reading Recognition early started the PIAT-Reading Comprehension assessment at question 19 as well.

Scoring the PIAT Reading Recognition

The scoring decisions and procedures are identical to those described for the PIAT Mathematics assessment

Norms for PIAT Reading Recognition

The norming sample has a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15; these were normed against standards based on a national sample of children in the United States in 1968.  As with PIAT Mathematics, it is important to note that the norming sample for Reading Recognition was selected, and the norming carried out, in the late 1960s.  This has implications for interpreting the standardized scores of the children in the NLSY79 sample (see also the discussion in the section of the User's Guide on the PIAT Mathematics assessment

Scoring Changes for PIAT Reading.  Changes were introduced beginning with the 1990 PIAT norming scheme to improve the utility of these measures and to simplify their use.  First, children between the ages of 60 and 62 months (for whom no normed percentile scores had been available in 1986 or 1988) are now normed using percentile scores designed for children enrolled in the first third of the kindergarten year, the closest approximation available to ages 60 to 62 months.

Starting in 1994, children with raw scores translating to percentiles below the established minimum are now assigned percentile scores of one; children with raw scores translating to percentile scores above the maximum are assigned percentile scores of 99.  In prior years, the "out-of-range" children had been arbitrarily assigned scores of 0, which led to some inadvertent misuse of the data.  (Through 1994, children more than 217 months of age were assigned normed scores of -4 since they were beyond the maximum ages for which national normed scores are available.)

Completion Rates for PIAT Reading Recognition

Table 6 in the Child Assessments--Introduction section contains the completion rate for PIAT Reading Recognition in the current survey round.

Most children with invalid Reading Recognition scores (assigned a value of -3) have either not entered the assessment or prematurely terminated the assessment. In some instances, a careful review of the individual responses in conjunction with an examination of the interviewer's actual scoring calculations permitted clarification, and ultimately scoring, of previously invalid cases. This type of data review and rescoring was more prevalent during the years prior to 1994 when the assessments were administered on paper without the benefit of CAPI scoring.

It is important to note, however, that while interviewers are able to record the actual response to each PIAT Math item, the nature of the PIAT Reading Recognition makes this infeasible for each individual item. In contrast with the PIAT Mathematics assessment, it was not possible to rectify inadvertent skips for some children on the PIAT Reading Recognition assessment where the "correct-noncorrect" check item inadvertently was left blank. This is one reason why the overall response rate is slightly lower on the PIAT Reading Recognition assessment than the PIAT Math assessment in years prior to 1994. Researchers who plan to use the PIAT Reading Recognition assessment extensively are encouraged to examine the individual response patterns. Where a particular researcher does not require great precision on this particular outcome (e.g., a categorization of scores into a number of discrete categories being sufficient), it is possible to reduce the non-completion rate. In a number of cases, while an exact score may not be determined, an appropriate score determination (e.g., within two or three points, or a score of at least a certain level) may be possible.

Validity and Reliability for PIAT Reading Recognition

As is true for the PIAT mathematics assessment, the recognition assessment is considered quite reliable and valid.  The NLSY Child Handbook: 1986-1990 includes a comprehensive discussion of these issues, drawing on material from the PIAT Manual as well as a variety of research that has been completed using the NLSY79 Child PIAT reading data. This discussion also includes internal CHRR evaluation of the cross-year correlations with other NLSY79 PIAT scores and the full spectrum of other cognitive assessments. Analyses presented in The NLSY Children, 1992: Description and Evaluation offer evidence of strong longitudinal independent associations between PIAT reading and a full set of demographic and socio-economic priors.  In general, this assessment, like the other Peabody assessments, is widely used and has a well-established record in research. These documents are available on the Research/Technical Reports page.

PIAT Reading Recognition Scores in the Database

Three scores are reported for the PIAT Reading Recognition assessment in the child data file: 

  • an overall nonnormed raw score
  • two normed scores: a percentile score and a standard score

The specific child reference numbers for the PIAT Reading Recognition scores for the current survey round appear in Table 1 in the Child Assessments--Introduction section.

PIAT Reading Comprehension

Created variables

COMPyyyy. PIAT READING COMPREHENSION: TOTAL RAW SCORE
COMPZyyyy. PIAT READING COMPREHENSION: TOTAL STANDARD SCORE
COMPPyyyy. PIAT READING COMPREHENSION: TOTAL PERCENTILE SCORE
PRC_ERRORyyyy. PIAT READING COMPREHENSION: TOTAL # OF ERRORS BETWEEN BASAL AND CEILING (available 2000 - current survey round)
PRC_BASALyyyy. PIAT READING COMPREHENSION:  FINAL BASAL (available 2000 - current survey round)

The Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT) Reading Comprehension subtest measures a child's ability to derive meaning from sentences that are read silently.  For each of 66 items of increasing difficulty, the child silently reads a sentence once and then selects one of four pictures that best portrays the meaning of the sentence.

"While understanding the meaning of individual words is important, comprehending passages is more representative of practical reading ability since the context factor is built in, which plays an important role, not only in deciphering the intended meaning of specific words, but of the total passage.  Therefore, the format selected for the reading subtest is one of a series of sentences of increasing difficulty.  The 66 items in Reading Comprehension are number 19 through 84, with item 19 corresponding in difficulty with item 19 in Reading Recognition."  (Dunn and Markwardt, 1970, pp. 21-22)

Administration of PIAT Reading Comprehension

Children who score less than 19 on Reading Recognition are assigned their Reading Recognition score as their Reading Comprehension score.  If they score at least 19 on the Reading Recognition assessment, their Reading Recognition score determines the entry point to Reading Comprehension.  Entering at the correct location is, however, not essential to the scoring.  

Scoring the PIAT Reading Comprehension

Basals and ceilings on PIAT Reading Comprehension and an overall nonnormed raw score are determined in a manner identical to the other PIAT procedures.  The only difference is that children for whom a basal could not be computed (but who otherwise completed the comprehension assessment) are automatically assigned a basal of 19.  Administration instructions can be found in the assessment section of the Child Supplement.

Age Eligibility for PIAT Reading Comprehension

The PIAT Reading Comprehension assessment is administered to all children below young adult age whose PPVT age is five years and over who scored at least 19 on the Reading Recognition assessment.  (From 1986 through 1992, PIAT Reading Comprehension was actually administered to all children who scored 15 or higher on Reading Recognition.  This lowered threshold was used to maximize our ability to score the Reading Comprehension assessment for those cases where interviewers made minor addition errors in totaling the Reading Recognition test, computing actual scores of 19 or more as only being 15 through 18.)

Norms for PIAT Reading Comprehension

As with the other PIAT tests, norming was accomplished in the late 1960s with all of its attendant potential analytical problems.  These are noted in more detail in the discussion above about the PIAT Mathematics subtest.  For a precise statement of the scoring decisions and the norm derivations, the user should consult Dunn and Dunn (1981) and Dunn and Markwardt (1970).

Scoring Changes for PIAT Reading Comprehension.  Changes were introduced beginning with the 1990 PIAT norming scheme to improve the utility of these measures and to simplify their use.  First, children between the ages of 60 and 62 months (for whom no normed percentile scores had been available previously) are now normed using percentile scores designed for children enrolled in the first third of the kindergarten year, the closest approximation available to ages 60 to 62 months.

As of the 1994 round, children with raw scores translating to percentiles below the established minimum are now assigned percentile scores of one; children with raw scores translating to percentile scores above the maximum are assigned percentile scores of 99.  In prior years, the "out-of-range" children had been assigned scores of 0, which led to some inadvertent misuse of the data.  (Prior to 1994, children more than 217 months of age are assigned normed scores of -4 since they are beyond the maximum ages for which normed scores are available.)

Completion Rates for PIAT Reading Comprehension

Table 6 in the Child Assessments--Introduction section contains the completion rate for PIAT Reading Recognition in the current survey round.

Reading Comprehension completion rates have typically been lower than many of the other assessments. In the earlier (particularly non-CAPI) survey period, several reasons may account for lower comprehension completion rates (as low as 86% in 1992). In some instances, the assessment was simply skipped over with no reason given. In other instances, a valid Reading Recognition score was available, but the interviewer neglected to assess the child on Reading Comprehension. More typically, the Reading Comprehension assessment was attempted, but the interviewer did not attempt a sufficient number of items to attain a basal or ceiling. An apparently common problem was where an interviewer entered Reading Comprehension at a fairly low level, apparently tested a child, but did not record all of the responses. As with all of the assessments, the researcher is encouraged to examine the scoring patterns for the invalid responses. Depending on one's research objectives, some flexibility in rescoring may be possible.

Validity and Reliability for PIAT Reading Comprehension 

As with the other PIAT assessments, Reading Comprehension is generally considered to be a highly reliable and valid assessment that has been extensively used for research purposes.  This version was normed in the late 1960s and thus is subject to the same analytical constraints as the other PIAT assessments.

Readers interested in additional detail regarding specific research based on this NLSY79 assessment, should examine the PIAT discussion in the NLSY Child Handbook: 1986-1990 and review the most recent articles based on the NLSY79 Child reading assessment data by accessing the NLS online bibliography.  Additional information documenting the association between PIAT Comprehension and a full range of socio-economic and demographic maternal and family antecedents can be found in The NLSY Children, 1992: Description and Evaluation. Distributions of the PIAT Reading Comprehension scores are summarized in the Table series 9 in the Selected Assessment Tables reports (Table series 8 in 2004). All of these documents are available on the Research/Technical Reports page.

PIAT Reading Comprehension Scores in the Database

The NLSY79 Child dataset provides the following PIAT Reading Comprehension scores: overall nonnormed raw scores that can range from 0 to 84, normed percentile scores, and normed standard scores. Reference numbers for the PIAT reading comprehension scores for the current survey round are listed in Table 1 in the Child Assessments--Introduction section. It should be noted that many younger children (aged seven years and below) who receive low raw scores cannot be given normed scores because their scores are out of the range of the national PIAT sample used in the norming procedure. These children have been assigned "-4" codes on the percentile and standard score variables. Researchers wishing to keep these children in their analyses will need to consider special decision rules. The way to identify these children is to cross-classify children by their raw score and standard score. They will be identified by having a raw score of zero or greater but a standard and percentile score of -4.

If one is using the PIAT Reading Comprehension assessment for analyzing five- and six-year-olds, the proportion of children without a standard score is a major constraint that cannot be ignored. A large proportion of five- and six-years-olds with a valid raw score on Reading Comprehension could not be given a normed score. All of these children had raw scores below 19 and thus, had their Reading Recognition score imputed as the Comprehension score; one solution for the youngest children (those with PPVT ages under 7) is to limit analyses to Reading Recognition. Another possible strategy is to use the raw score and to include an age control in one's equations.

By applying procedures parallel to those used with PIAT Mathematics, it was sometimes possible to clarify the score of a previously "unscorable" child by carefully examining the individual response patterns, particularly where the actual response for the "correct-incorrect" item had not been completed. This was more relevant in the 1986 to 1992 "pre-CAPI" administration survey rounds. In this way, we were able to retrieve a number of cases not previously scorable.  Depending on a researcher's individual inclination or need for precision, it may be possible to score, in an approximate manner, a number of additional children.  In order to accomplish this, the researcher will need to examine the individual PIAT comprehension items. Researchers who plan to use this outcome extensively are encouraged to examine the individual item responses.

Areas of Interest ASSESSMENT [scores]
ASSESSMENT ITEMS
CHILD SUPPLEMENT