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Assessment of Disadvantaged Adolescents: A Different Approach to Research and Evaluation Measures

Freeberg, Norman E.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Department of Labor, Disadvantaged Youth, Dropouts, Guidance Programs, Individualized Tests, Test Bias, Test Construction, Validity Studies, Work Experience Programs


The suitability of available formal tests for individuals from culturally deprived, poverty-level backgrounds has long been open to criticism by test specialists. The present study is an attempt to overcome a number of the claimed defects for a variety of cognitive and noncognitive measures by(1)"Tailoring" a battery of measures specifically to disadvantaged adolescent groups and (2) demonstrating their value based upon their psychometric characteristics and the logic of various research-related findings. A battery of 13 measures was administered to 256 male and female high school dropouts enrolled in a federally funded youth-work training program. Item characteristics, levels of internal consistency, external validity based upon rating criteria, construct validity based upon factor analysis and the logic of a number of research findings with the individual measures-all present a pattern of results reasonable enough to warrant continued research application and development of these types of measures for appraisal of disadvantaged adolescents.

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