Handout 1

Report
Using the CPPS to Evaluate Children
with Learning Problems
Dr. Milton J. Dehn
Schoolhouse Educational Services
www.psychprocesses.com
Children’s Psychological Processes
Scale (CPPS) Facts
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Standardized teacher rating scale
Ages 5 – 12
121 items across 11 subscales
Entirely online, internet-web based
Online administration time of 15 minutes
Online scoring and report
Author: Milton Dehn; published by
Schoolhouse Educational Services, 2012
Uses of the CPPS
1. Screening
1. Identifies need for intervention
2. Predicts academic skills development
3. Useful in planning comprehensive assessment
2. LD Evaluations
1. Identify psych processing deficits
2. Pattern of strengths and weaknesses
3. Measure progress during interventions
1. Through the use of change-sensitive W-scores
What is psychological processing?
1. Brain processes, operations, functions
2. Any time mental contents are operated on
3. When information is perceived, transformed,
manipulated, stored, retrieved, expressed
4. Whenever we think, reason, problem-solve
5. Can’t learn and perform without processing
6. Learning depends on these processes
7. Doesn’t include knowledge or academic skills
MN Processing Criteria
“The child has a disorder in one or more of the
basic psychological processes which includes
an information processing condition that is
manifested in a variety of settings by
behaviors such as inadequate …. (next slide)
MN Processing Criteria
….acquisition of information; organization;
planning and sequencing; working memory,
including verbal, visual, or spatial; visual and
auditory processing; speed of processing;
verbal and nonverbal expression; transfer of
information; and motor control for written
tasks.”
(Can include other processes not listed.)
What is a Processing Disorder?
1. Disorder: A group of symptoms involving abnormal
behaviors
2. A disorder involves deficits
3. Deficit: A lack or shortage of something
4. Weakness: Lacking normal ability
5. A processing disorder impairs academic learning
6. Not many official processing disorders
1. E.g. CAPD, aphasia, amnesia, dyspraxia
Evidence for a Processing Disorder
and SLD Diagnosis
1. It’s not specific to one environment
2. A normative weakness (below average score)
3. Intra-individual: score is significantly weaker than
predicted from discrepancy analysis
4. Best if it’s an intra-individual weakness and a
normative weakness (this is a deficit; these are rare)
5. It’s impacting academic learning
6. The low psychological processes and low academics
have research-based links
7. The linked process and academic skills both have
low scores (consistency approach)
Processes and Academic Learning
1. Psychological processes are like “aptitudes”
2. Relations established through research
1. Flanagan et al.
2. McGrew’s review of research
3. The influence of processes varies by age
4. Look for academic area and related
psychological processes to both be low
5. See Table
Psychological Processes
Measured by the CPPS
1. Attention
2. Auditory Processing
3. Executive Functions
4. Fine Motor
5. Fluid Reasoning
6. Long-Term Recall
7. Oral Language
8. Phonological Processing
9. Processing Speed
10. Visual-Spatial Processing
11. Working Memory
12. General Processing Ability (Composite)
CPPS Processes Significantly Related
With Types of Academic Learning
Basic Reading Reading
Skills
Fluency
Auditory
Processing
Long-Term
Recall
Oral Lang.
Phonological
Processing
Processing
Speed
Working
Memory
Long-Term
Recall
Phonological
Processing
Processing
Speed
Reading
Mathematics
Comprehension Calculation
Attention
Auditory
Processing
Mathematics
Reasoning
Written
Language
Auditory
Processing
Executive
Executive
Functions
Functions
Fine Motor
Fluid Reasoning Fluid Reasoning Fluid Reasoning Fluid Reasoning
Long-Term
Long-Term
Long-Term
Long-Term
Recall
Recall
Recall
Recall
Oral Language
Oral Language Oral Language
Phonological
Processing
Processing
Processing
Processing
Speed
Speed
Speed
Visual-Spatial
Processing
Working
Working
Working
Working
Memory
Memory
Memory
Memory
Characteristics of CPPS Processes
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Brain-based
Interrelated
Necessary for academic learning
They underlie academic performance
They are broad processes
Observable in classroom
Attention
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In classroom: Necessary for learning
Attention deficits part of LD; not necessarily ADHD
Types: Selective, focused, divided, sustained
The problem is attentional control & lack of
inhibition
5. On CPPS, links to Executive Functions and Working
Memory
6. Lowest Item: “Is noisy and disruptive in class”
7. Highest Item: “Has difficulty dividing attention
between two tasks”
Auditory Processing
1. Ability to perceive, analyze, synthesize, and
discriminate auditory stimuli, mainly speech
2. In classroom: Perceiving and comprehending
instruction; being able to understand words
with background noise
3. Lowest item: “Has difficulty associating a
voice with the correct person”
4. Highest item: “Has difficulty understanding
instruction when there is background noise”
Executive Functions
1. Management of cognitive functions and
psychological processes
2. Effectiveness depends on self-monitoring, selfregulation, and metacognition
3. Has a longer course of development
4. More to do with classroom performance than
learning of academic skills
5. Lowest item “Has difficulty adapting to changes,
such as a change in routine”
6. Highest item: “Does not notice errors in
schoolwork”
Fine Motor
1. Hits developmental plateau by age 7
2. On CPPS, has weaker relations with cognitive
processes in general but has strong relations
with academics
3. On CPPS, pairs up with visual-spatial process.
4. Lowest item: “Has difficulty picking up small
objects with thumb and forefinger”
5. Highest item: “Has difficulty staying between
the lines when printing or writing”
Fluid Reasoning
1. Deductive, inductive reasoning, especially
with novel materials
2. Has a longer course of development
3. More important for applied academics
4. Lowest item: “When given clues, does poorly
at guessing the answer”
5. Highest item: “Has difficulty solving
unfamiliar problems”
Long-Term Recall
1. Close connection with other processes and
with academic learning in general
2. Includes encoding, consolidation, storage,
and retrieval
3. RAN is part of
4. Lowest item: “Has difficulty remembering
nursery rhymes or stories”
5. Highest item: “Has difficulty recalling
information during tests”
Oral Language
1. Not the content (vocabulary) or receptive
language but the oral expression processes
2. Lowest item “Substitutes or omits vowel and
consonant sounds when speaking”
3. Highest item: “Has difficulty paraphrasing
when speaking”
Phonological Processing
1. Processing of phonemes, e.g. blending
2. Phonemic awareness is part of
3. Lowest item: “Has difficulty identifying the
first sound in a word”
4. Highest item: “Has difficulty sounding out
unknown words when reading”
Processing Speed
1. How quickly information flows through the
processing system; a matter of efficiency
2. Too slow: info. lost, process not completed
3. Lowest item “Is slow to perform, relatively
easy, well-learned tasks”
4. Highest item: “Takes a long time to complete
a worksheet”
Visual-Spatial Processing
1. The ability to perceive, analyze, synthesize,
manipulate and think with visual patterns
2. A strength in most LD cases
3. Weak relations with all academics; more of a
“threshold” process
4. Lowest item: “Has difficulty matching things
that look alike”
5. Highest item: “Becomes confused when
figures are rotated or reversed”
Working Memory
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Processing while retaining information
On CPPS includes short-term memory
Both verbal and visual
Lowest item: “Loses place when counting”
Highest item: “Has difficulty organizing
information when writing”
General Processing Ability (GPA)
1. Based on average of all process scores
2. Emerges from factor analysis; similar to
concept of general intelligence
3. Processes function in an inter-related fashion
4. Most processes contribute to any given
behavior, task
5. On CPPS defined as “the underlying
efficiency of automaticity of processing”
CPPS Standardization
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1,121 students rated by 278 teachers
128 communities in 30 states
Entirely online
Demographics match U.S. Census well
Scores were weighted
Included children with disabilities
Demographics details Link
Item Selection
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Two rounds of piloting
W-scores indicate wide ability range
Skewed distributions common
Rasch item analysis
Exploratory factor analysis to check subscale
alignment
Reverse Scoring
1. Relative to achievement & cognitive tests
2. High scores mean high difficulty and low
ability
3. All items stated negatively
4. Inconsistent ratings when positively stated
items were tried
Norms and Scores
1. 4 age groups (5-6; 7-8; 9-10; 11-12)
2. Boys have more processing problems
3. No sign. sex differences in fluid reasoning,
phonological, and visual-spatial
4. Norms not divided by sex Link
5. Combined sex norms better for identification
6. T-scores derived from linear transformation
of actual standardization distribution
W-Scores
1. Used in item analysis, development of
scoring system, and in reports
2. Mean of 500 at age 10; SD of roughly 20
3. Converts ordinal rankings into equal intervals
4. More precise measurement
1. Gradient with smaller steps
2. More sensitive to changes, progress
5. Use when re-evaluating student with CPPS
Reliability
1. Internal consistency subscale reliability
ranges from .88 to .98 Link
2. .99 on Total Score
3. Inter-rater reliability
1. Range of .21 to .90
2. Median coefficient of 76.5
Validity: Developmental Evidence
1. Skewed distributions because
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Very few children have processing problems
Fewer processing problems in older children
Most processes fully develop early
Teachers rate relative to that grade level
2. Dev. changes observed in younger children
3. Changes observed in upper half of problem
distribution Link See Range
4. W values used to arrange items in order
Correlations with Achievement
1. High correlations with WJ III Achievement
Test scores Link
1. The broader the achievement score, the higher
the correlations
2. Correlation of .66 between teacher’s overall
ranking of academic skills and CPPS GPA
3. Parent education level and CPPS GPA is .33
Correlations with WJ III COG
1. Fewer correlations than achievement Link
2. All CPPS processes have sign. correlations
with Cognitive Fluency (ability to quickly and
fluently perform cog. tasks)
3. Most CPPS scales expected to link with WJ III
COG tests do, except attention, processing
speed, and working memory
4. Also, discriminant evidence
Correlations with BRIEF
1. CPPS Attention, Executive Functions, and
Working Memory have the highest
correlations with all BRIEF scales and a sign.
correlation with every BRIEF score
2. CPPS Attention and EF mostly are >.70
indicating they measure same domains as
BRIEF Link
3. Other CPPS scales correlate with BRIEF
metacognitive scales but not behavioral
Factor and Cluster Analysis
1. A general factor; all subtests load on
1. General processing ability (GPA) may reflect
processing efficiency or automaticity Link
2. Second factor is Attention, EF, sometimes
WM: Self-Regulatory Processes
3. Third factor is Fine Motor and Visual-Spatial:
Visual-Motor processes Link
4. Results fairly consistent across age groups
Diagnostic Utility for LD
1. 37 LD subjects with broad demographics
2. Compared to matched controls, LD subjects
had significantly higher means on all
subscales Link
3. The CPPS has high classification accuracy in
regards to LD
1. Using CPPS GPA cutoff of 60 has 92%
classification accuracy across 74 subjects
CPPS Administration
1. Online rating scale 12-15 minutes for
teachers to complete
1. Can print free paper copy and enter later
2. Must answer all items
2. Responses: Never, Sometimes, Often, Almost
Always
3. This file is stored until accessed for report
4. More than 1 teacher rater is recommended
CPPS Report
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Brief narrative
A graph and a table of scores
Change-sensitive W-scores
T-scores; percentiles; confidence intervals
Intra-individual strengths and weakness
discrepancy table
6. T-score to standard score converter
7. Example
Multiple Raters
1. Expect differences
2. Compare scores on the graphs
1. Is the profile similar but one teacher’s scores are
consistently higher than others
2. Significantly different when confidence bands do
not overlap
3. How are the teachers’ experiences with the student
different?
4. If 3 raters, give most creditability to middle rater
Diagnosing LD with the CPPS
1. Use a T-score of 60 or above on the GPA
2. Use discrepancy table to determine pattern
of strengths and weaknesses
1. Predicted score based on mean of other 10
2. Use +/- 1.00 SD of discrepancy as criterion
3. Non LD also have a pattern Link
3. Weaknesses should link to evidence-based
achievement relations Link
Case I Background
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5th grade, 12 year old male
History of struggling with Math & Wr Lang
Received tutoring and extra help at school
Not placed for LD after eval. 2 years prior
Average IQ
Doesn’t meet ADHD diagnostic criteria
Seems immature
Case I CPPS Scores
Attention
Auditory Processing
Executive Functions
Fine Motor
Fluid Reasoning
Long-Term Recall
Oral Language
Phonological Processing
Processing Speed
Visual-Spatial Processing
Working Memory
General Processing Ability
70
51
55
63
64
61
61
53
58
48
63
60
Case I WJ Cog Scores
Comp-Knowledge
LT Retrieval
Vis-Spatial
Auditory Proc
Fluid Reasoning
Process Speed
ST Memory
Phonemic Aware
Working Memory
Broad Attention
Cognitive Fluency
97
*a close match with CPPS
86*
93*
97*
103
82
90
103*
87*
90
85
Case I WJ III ACH
Broad Reading
91*
Broad Math
89**
Broad Wr Lang
86**
Math Calc Skills
90**
Writ Exp
85**
*Has strong CPPS related processes
**Has weak CPPS related processes
Case I Conclusions
1. From a processing perspective, could qualify
for LD
2. Does not because IQ-Ach discrepancy not
severe enough
3. Nevertheless, struggles because of
processing problems
Case II Background
1. 7 year old, first grade male
2. 1st grade teacher reported many concerns:
attention, math difficulties, losing things,
slow to start, slow to complete work
3. Good at art, visual-spatial, behavior
4. Reported concerns to parent
5. History: needed oxygen at birth
6. No health or developmental problems
CPPS Case Study II
Attention
Auditory Processing
Executive Functions
Fine Motor
Fluid Reasoning
Long-Term Recall
Oral Language
Phonological Processing
Processing Speed
Visual-Spatial Processing
Working Memory
General Processing Ability
69
69
65
53
66
73
64
65
70
65
72
68
Case II WJ III COG Scores
Comp-Knowledge
LT Retrieval
Vis-Spatial
Auditory Proc
Fluid Reasoning
Process Speed
ST Memory
Phonemic Awareness
Working Memory
Broad Attention
Cognitive Fluency
84
101
110
122
98
96
112
108
93
99
83
Case II WJ III ACH
Brief Reading
Broad Math
Brief Writing
Math Calc Skills
85
69*
80 (-1.49)
67*
*More than 2.00 SD’s of discrepancy below
ability
Case II BRIEF Scores
Inhibit
Shift
Emot Control
BRI
Initiate
Working Memory
Plan/Organize
Org of Materials
Monitor
MI
GEC
49
50
43
47
67
72
72
57
49
64
58
Case II WRAML2 Scores
Verbal Memory
Visual Memory
Attention/Concentration
General Memory
Verbal Recognition
Visual Recognition
General Recognition
Delayed Recall Average
108
85
88
91
105
84
94
10 (mean for subs)
Case II Discussion
1. Compare CPPS results with other test results
1. What are the consistencies
2. What are the inconsistencies
2. Does he have a learning disability?
3. Does he have ADHD?
4. (Disregard intervention requirement)
Selective, Cross-Battery Testing
1. Assess areas based on concerns, not on what
a test has to offer
2. Mix tests/batteries to cover all the areas
1. Limit to 2 or 3 batteries
2. Should be normed about the same time
3. Avoid redundancies
4. Ideally, 2 subtests per process
5. Analyze results together by computing a
cross-battery mean or using IQ
Dehn’s Approach to Cross Battery
1. Not limited to CHC factors in Flanagan and
Ortiz method
2. Includes processing factors that are
important for learning of academic skills
3. Analyze scores at the factor (two-subtest)
level whenever possible
4. Use a hand computation analysis sheet
Selective Testing
1. Not necessary to administer entire battery
2. Focus most on hypothesized deficits
3. Know the factors/subtests that measure
processes
4. Apply a cross-battery approach
5. See selective testing table for cog. & ach.
Link
Using CPPS Results to Guide
Standardized Testing
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The WJ III COG is a good match
Other broad scales, such as memory
Use selective testing table
Sample all processing areas but especially
weak and borderline areas
5. CPPS processes with scores above 60 should
be sampled with at least 2 subtests
Using the CPPS to Measure Progress
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Use W-Scores
Have a mean of 500 at age 10
Standard deviations vary (about 20)
4-5 W-score points for every 1-2 T-score
points
5. A change of 20 points can be considered
statistically significant
Using the CPPS to Plan an Intervention
1. Select processes with scores above 60
(weaknesses)
2. Prioritize if too many
3. Look for strengths (scores below 40) to
counterbalance weakness
References
• Dehn, M. J. (2006). Essentials of Processing
Assessment. Wiley Publishing.
(a revision of this book will be out spring 2013)
• Dehn, M. J. (2012). Children’s Psychological
Processes Scale, Professional Manual.
Schoolhouse Educational Serivces
CPPS Purchasing Information
• Found at www.psychprocesses.com

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