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Individual Differences in Infants' Information Processing: Reliability, Stability, and Prediction

Susan A. Rose, Judith F. Feldman and Ina F. Wallace
Child Development
Vol. 59, No. 5 (Oct., 1988), pp. 1177-1197
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130482
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130482
Page Count: 21
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Individual Differences in Infants' Information Processing: Reliability, Stability, and Prediction
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Abstract

A group of 46 full-term and 54 high-risk preterm (< 1,500 grams birthweight) infants were tested at 6, 7, and/or 8 months of age (corrected age for preterms) on a battery of problems assessing visual recognition memory and tactual-visual cross-modal transfer. At all 3 ages, scores obtained on aggregates of 6-11 problems in the battery significantly predicted 3-year Stanford-Binet IQ: correlations ranged from r = .37 to r = .63, and clustered between r = .50 and r = .60. When aggregates from 2 or 3 ages were used as predictors, multiple correlations were as high as R = .60 and R = .70. Cutoffs for predicting children at risk for mental retardation (IQ < 70) or cognitive delay (IQ < 85) showed reasonable sensitivity and specificity, although low scores were poor at detecting IQs < 70. The internal consistency of composites, indexed by alpha coefficients, was unexpectedly low, primarily because the problems shared little variance. However, stability coefficients between assessments as much as 1 and 2 months apart were moderate in magnitude, ranging from r = .30 to r = .50. Considering the high degree of predictive validity, the stability figures appear to be better estimates of reliability for these measures than are indices of internal consistency. The relations reported here were similar for both full-terms and preterms.

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