Special Education ETDs

Publication Date



The purpose of this study is to determine the test-retest reliability and standard error of measurement of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) based on a sample of fourth-grade public school children.

The PPVT is a test designed to provide a stand­ardized estimate of a person's verbal intelligence through measuring his receptive vocabulary. The PPVT is a frequently used test in the appraisal and evaluation of children ln the state of New Mexico and the Albuquerque Public School System. The PPVT was standardized on a sample of white children from Nashville, Tennessee. No cultural, socio-economic or geographic precautions were used in standardizing the test, and no test-retest reliability data on normal children was published with the standardization data. The assumption is that children from a different culture, socio-economic level or geographic area will perform differently on many of the standardized tests that are frequently the basis for their educational placement. Thus, the reliability of standardized tests such as the PPVT for different pop­ulations of children 1s of growing concern. Equivalent form reliability data published with the PPVT suggest the test is not highly reliable with nine year old children.

The sample consisted of 40 fourth-grade public school children, between the ages of 9-0 and 9-11 years, who had never been referred for Special Education. Two examiners administered Form A of the PPVT to the subjects, and in not less than seven nor more than ten days, a second administration of Form A by the same examiner was given.

This study found coefficients of test-retest reliability of r=0.795 for raw scores, r=0.769 for IQ

scores, r=o.751 for Percentile scores, and r=0.807 for MA scores. Also calculated, using the test-retest reliability coefficients and the actual standard deviations of the sample, was a standard error of measurement tor raw scores of tJ.89, for IQ scores t6.52, for Percentile scores tl2.21, and for MA scores t9.79,

This study indicates that the PPVT does not have a high enough test-retest reliability to warrant its use as the major placement instrument with nine year old children in the Albuquerque area. This study also found that there is no significant difference between the reliability coefficients published with the PPVT and the coefficients reported for the Albuquerque sample. At their best the results of the PPVT should be cautiously interpreted, especially when the test 1s being used as a placement instrument.

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Billy L. Watson

Second Committee Member

Glenn Van Etten

Third Committee Member

Gary Anderson