Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Thesis Director

Gary L. Canivez

Thesis Committee Member

Margaret T. Floress

Thesis Committee Member

Ronan S. Bernas

Abstract

Native Americans and First Nation students are overrepresented in special education and underrepresented in structural bias research of the intelligence measures that place them there. There are several empirical studies of test bias on the Wechsler scales due to their popularity within the school system, however there is little exploratory factor analysis research on these scales with the Native American Indian population. Further, the Native American Indian and First Nation population is a relatively small minority group compared to other racial and ethnic groups in North America and this group is underrepresented in government statistics and overlooked in funding for policies that provide prevention for several risk factors. This study aimed to discover the factor structure of the WISC-VCDN with First Nations students to provide understanding and better interpretation of scores to facilitate ethical data-based decision making and provision of special education services to First Nations students. A total of 102 participant data were collected and a replication of the Canivez, Watkins, and Dombrowski (2016) study was followed to ensure best practice of Exploratory Factor Analysis. Results indicated that a three-factor model was most viable for the First Nations students on the WISC-VCDN, which is dissimilar to previous research. However, results of the dominance of the general intelligence (g) factor was similar to previous research of the Wechsler scales using both methods of Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Future research directions and implications for First Nations students, data-based decision making, and special services eligibility is discussed.

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