Date of Award

8-2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Munley

Second Advisor

Dr. Kelly A. McDonnell

Third Advisor

Dr. Ennis A. Berker

Abstract

The Hooper Visual Organization Test (VOT) is described in the manual as a screening instrument that measures the ability to organize visual stimuli (Hooper, 1983). The VOT is identified as being particularly sensitive to neurological impairment. Studies to determine the criterion and construct validity of the VOT have examined its usefulness in distinguishing between individuals with neurological impairment from those with other disorders. Few studies have included samples from normal, psychiatrically impaired, and neurologically impaired populations in determining the VOT's usefulness in identifying neurologically impaired individuals. Furthermore, as neuropsychology has moved away from the understanding of neurological impairment as a unitary concept, research on the VOT has focused on understanding the cognitive constructs that are related to VOT scores. The current study utilized an archival sample of test protocols of 146 individuals without psychiatric or neurologic impairment, 92 individuals with psychiatric impairment, and 100 individuals with neurological impairment to evaluate the utility of the VOT in differentiating between the three groups through quantitative and qualitative scoring. Archival test protocols included collateral neuropsychological test data including the Symbol Digit Modality Test (SDMT) scores, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised Performance IQ (PIQ) scores, and Raven Matrices Short Form scores. Scores from these measures were used to predict VOT scores after controlling for age and years ofeducation. Additionally, individual VOT items were evaluated for their suitability and ability to distinguish between the three groups. The results showed that VOT mean scores were significantly higher in the normal group than in the psychiatrically and neurologically impaired groups. The mean scores for the latter two groups were not significantly different from each other. When entered together in the regression analysis after controlling for age and years of education SDMT written scores, PIQ scores, and Raven Matrices Short Form scores were each significant unique predictors of VOT scores. Sixteen of the thirty total items showed significant differences between the three groups. Findings are discussed and suggestions made for possible revisions to the VOT.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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