An investigation of the internal reliability of a prevocational behavior checklist: an assessment tool
Gleason, Glenna M.
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This study was the initial research conducted to ascertain the validity of a prevocational behavior checklist. The instrument under investigation was developed at the South Shore Rehabilitation Center in Quincy, Massachusetts. The Center's assessment instrument entitled, 466 Behaviors Necessary to Function Successfully as a Sheltered Worker, was used for assessing the skills of 60 severely retarded subjects enrolled in the Center's prevocational program. The major purpose of this study was to identify which of the 466 behaviors comprising the checklist contributed highly discriminating information. Test scores from 60 severely retarded adults were collected and processed in two phases of the study. Phase I included the analysis of the distribution of scores, elimination of behaviors that did not discriminate between 5 percent or less of the sample. In Phase II of this study, the investigator statistically analyzed behavior-to-Specific Skill Area correlations. If the analysis resulted in a correlation coefficient of less than +.5, the behavior was dropped from the checklist. This procedure was completed in four consecutive series. Thus, the investigator guaranteed that the remaining items were providing reliable information about the related Specific Skill Areas. Phase I of this study resulted in the elimination of 218 behaviors from the checklist and further calculations. Only 248 behaviors discriminated differences between more than 5 percent of the sample. Of the 248 behaviors, 144 behaviors met the +.5 criterion in Phase II. The investigator concluded that 114 behaviors comprising 25 Specific Skill Areas on the assessment instrument were contributing discriminating information. Recommendations were made to continue research of the prevocational behavior checklist. The recommended research would contribute to validating the instrument, producing an effective method of assessing vocational skills of severely retarded adults.
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