An investigation of verbal performance : differences in children of average intelligence

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Scarth, Robert Iverach
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Psychologists in clinical settings have frequently attributed clinical significance to a Verbal-Performance discrepancy on the WISC. The present study was designed to look for personality, educational and environmental differences between a higher Verbal group and a lower Verbal group of elementary school children. All the children were clinic referrals with Full Scale IQ's within the normal range. The two groups were selected from a population of 373 subjects referred to the Child Guidance Clinic of Greater Winnipeg. There were 65 subjects in the higher Verbal grup and 64 subjects in the lower Verbal group. Three factors: clinic record, school record, and home situation were analyzed by using the chi-square technique. Several personality, educational and environmental differences were found. 1. The lower Verbal child in this study was academically retarded throughout most of his school career. He was usually referred by the schools because of poor achievement and aggressive behaviour. He required a significant amount of clinical help which consisted of reading therapy, speech therapy and often social work assistance. He was usually a middle child in his family and his parents worked in a non-professional occupation. There was some evidence that boys, rather than girls, had lower Verbal scores. 2. The higher Verbal child did well in school originally but failed to maintain this success in later years. There was a slight tendency for this child to be recommended for psychological assessment by other clinical personnel. The higher Verbal child was usually first-born to parents in the professional and semi-professional occupations. There was some evidence that girls, rather than boys, had higher Verbal scores. Evidence from the literature was used to indicate that the higher Verbal child was usually more neurotically unstable or more inclined to be nueurologically impaired...