The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children or the (KABC) is a standardized test that assesses intelligence and achievement in children aged two years, six months to 12 years, six months.
Population for whom the Assessment is designed: Children: Ages 2.5-12.5. Purpose of the assessment: The purpose of the assessment is to assess cognitive development in children.
The K-ABC is a standardized test, which means that a large sample of children in the two years, six months to 12 years, six months age range was administered the exam as a means of developing test norms. Children in the sample were representative of the population of the United States based on age, gender, race or ethnic group, geographic region, community size, parental education, educational placement (normal versus special classes), etc. From this norms were established. Based on these norms, the global scales on the KABC each have a mean or average score of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. For this test, as with most measures of intelligence, a score of 100 is in the normal or average range. The standard deviation indicates how far above or below the norm a child's score is. For example, a score of 85 is one standard deviation below the norm score of 100.
Test scores provide an estimate of the level at which a child is functioning based on a combination of many different subtests or measures of skills. A trained psychologist is needed to evaluate and interpret the results, determine strengths and weaknesses, and make overall recommendations based on the findings and behavioral observations. The sample utilized for the standardization of this intelligence and achievement test, according to the authors, was representative of the population of US children, based on attributes such as gender, age, ethnicity, size of the community, and the education of the parents. The sample was also based on educational placement, whether the child belongs to a special education class or mainstream classroom. The norms established from the standardization led to global scores having a mean score of 100 with a standard deviation of 15.
Administration and interpretation of results (as with all psychometric testing) requires a competent examiner who is trained in psychology and individual intellectual assessment—preferably a psychologist.
Scoring time: The 16 subtests are grouped into a mental processing set and achievement set, which yield separate global scores. The mental processing set is then grouped into those requiring primarily sequential processing of information and those requiring simultaneous processing, with separate global scores for each.
Administration of the K-ABC takes between 35 and 85 minutes. The older the child, the longer the test generally takes to administer. It is comprised of four global test scores that include: Sequential processing scales Simultaneous processing scales Achievement scales Mental processing composite There is an additional nonverbal scale that allows applicable subtests to be administered through gestures to hearing impaired, speech/language impaired, or children who do not speak English.
Odd-even reliabilities within one-year age groups averaged in the.70s and.80s for subtests; for global scores, the averages were in the high.80s and.90s. Test-retest reliabilities were computed within age groups spanning 3 or 4 years, retested after intervals of 2 to 4 weeks. For subtests, these reliabilities ranged from.59 to.98, clustering in the.70s and.80s; for global scores, they ranged from.77 to.97. In general, reliabilities were higher for the achievement than for the mental processing tests. Concurrent and predictive validity (6- to 12 interval) against standardized achievement tests, were investigated in several small groups of both normal and exceptional children. The correlations vary widely, but most appear promising, and the patterns of correlations with subtests tend to fit theoretical expectations. Analyses by ethnic groups yielded closely similar validities for Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites.
The concurrent validity of the recently developed Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children was assessed by comparing it with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence using two groups of 30 Anglo and 30 Mexican-American preschoolers as subjects. The correlations between the five K- ABC Scales and the three WPPSI IQs were all positive, most moderately high, with the patterns of high and low relationships very similar for both groups, suggesting that the K-ABC and WPPSI are measuring similar, but not identical, intellectual and achievement factors. No significant differences between the Anglo and Hispanic groups were found for any of the K-ABC scales but the Anglo children scored significantly higher on the WPPSI Verbal IQ than the Hispanics. These results provide evidence that the K-ABC not only has good concurrent validity with the WPPSI but also appears to be a less biased instrument for Mexican-American children.
The test consists of 16 subtests—10 mental processing subtests and six achievement subtests. Not all subtests are administered to each age group, and only three subtests are administered to all age groups. Children ages two years, six months are given seven subtests, and the number of subtests given increase with the child's age. For any one child, a maximum of 13 subtests are administered. Children from age seven years to 12 years, six months are given 13 subtests.
The sequential and simultaneous processing scales are combined to comprise the mental processing composite. This composite measures intelligence on the KABC and concentrates on the child's ability to solve unfamiliar problems simultaneously and sequentially. The simultaneous processing scales have a greater impact on the mental processing composite score than do the sequential processing scales. The mental processing composite score is considered the global estimate of a child's level of intellectual functioning.
The sequential processing scale primarily measures short-term memory and consists of subtests that measure problem-solving skills where the emphasis is on following a sequence or order. The child solves tasks by arranging items in serial or sequential order including reproducing hand taps on a table, and recalling numbers that were presented. It also contains a subtest that measures a child's ability to recall objects in correct order as presented by the examiner.
The simultaneous processing scale examines problem- solving skills that involve several processes at once. The seven subtests comprising this scale are facial recognition, identification of objects or scenes in a partially completed picture, reproduction of a presented design by using rubber triangles, selecting a picture that completes or is similar to another picture, memory for location of pictures presented on a page, and arrangement of pictures in meaningful order.
The achievement scales measure achievement and focus on applied skills and facts that were learned through the school or home environment. The subtests are expressive vocabulary; ability to name fictional characters, famous persons, and well-known places; mathematical skills; ability to solve riddles; reading and decoding skills; and reading and comprehension skills.
The assessment is to be administered in a school or clinical setting and is intended for use with English speaking, bilingual, or nonverbal children. There is also a Spanish edition that is to be used with children whose primary language is Spanish.
The strengths of the instrument is that it helps you obtain the data needed for each children that is tested. It contains an optional Knowledge/Crystallized Ability scale, so it can use one test with all children. The instrument also uses an expanded age range for ages 3 to 18 that allows use of one test for preschool, elementary, and high school children and it opens the door for in-depth ability/achievement comparisons. The KABC-II has a broader theoretical base, making it the instrument of choice for all cognitive assessment applications. This test provides detailed, accurate information and unprecedented flexibility. The K- ABC, assesses children of different backgrounds and with diverse problems, with small score differences between ethnic groups
KABC-II subtests are designed to minimize verbal instructions and responses. This gives you in-depth data with less "filtering" due to language. Also, test items contain little cultural content, so children of diverse backgrounds are assessed more fairly. You can be confident you’re getting a true picture of a child’s abilities—even when language difficulties or cultural differences might affect test scores.
Since this assessment instrument is especially developed to measure nonverbal intelligence, it shows weakness because it is limited in measuring verbal intelligence. This test has also been criticized for using questions that measure intelligence in subtests that are supposed to indicate achievement. And finally, only a trained examiner or a psychologist can interpret the scores of the test.
Recommended uses of the K-ABC include integration as a component of a cognitive assessment battery in clinical situations.