Title

Norm comparisons of the Spanish-language and English-language WAIS-III: Implications for clinical assessment and test adaptation

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This study provides a systematic comparison of the norms of 3 Spanish-language Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales (WAIS-III) batteries from Mexico, Spain, and Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Englishlanguage WAIS-III battery. Specifically, we examined the performance of the 4 normative samples on 2 identical subtests (Digit Span and Digit Symbol-Coding) and 1 nearly identical subtest (Block Design). We found that across most age groups the means associated with the Spanish-language versions of the 3 subtests were lower than the means of the U.S. English-language version. In addition, we found that for most age ranges the Mexican subsamples scored lower than the Spanish subsamples. Lower educational levels of Mexicans and Spaniards compared to U.S. residents are consistent with the general pattern of findings. These results suggest that because of the different norms, applying any of the 3 Spanish-language versions of the WAIS-III generally risks underestimating deficits, and that applying the English-language WAIS-III norms risks overestimating deficits of Spanish-speaking adults. There were a few exceptions to these general patterns. For example, the Mexican subsample ages 70 years and above performed significantly better on the Digit Symbol and Block Design than did the U.S. and Spanish subsamples. Implications for the clinical assessment of U.S. Spanish-speaking Latinos and test adaptation are discussed with an eye toward improving the clinical care for this community.

Publication Date

12-1-2016

Publication Title

Psychological Assessment

ISSN

10403590

E-ISSN

1939134X

Volume

28

Issue

12

First Page

1709

Last Page

1715

PubMed ID

26950442

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1037/pas0000302

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