Date of Award

8-1984

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Malcolm Robertson

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Gay

Abstract

Performance differences between the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) were studied. Differences in performance between the WAIS Full Scale IQ Score and the WMS Memory Quotient (WMS discrepancy score) were compared across three groups consisting of a closed head injury group (N = 45), a localized lesion group (N = 25), and a psychiatric group (N = 45) who were unimpaired on the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery. Also, WMS discrepancy scores were compared across a long-coma group and a short-coma group and the correlation coefficient between the WMS discrepancy score and neuropsychological impairment rating was obtained.

The WMS discrepancy score was hypothesized to be a marker of diffuse closed head injury; and it was predicted that WMS discrepancy scores would be greater in the closed head injury group, that the long-coma patients would show greater WMS discrepancy scores than a short-coma group, and that WMS discrepancy scores would be related to severity as defined by impairment on the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery. Results confirmed the expected differences between groups. The closed head injury group was significantly different from both the localized lesion group and the unimpaired psychiatric group on the dimension of WMS discrepancy score. The long-coma group had significantly larger WMS discrepancy scores. The correlation between WMS discrepancy score and neuropsychological impairment rating was only weakly supported. The closed head injury group showed greater WMS discrepancy scores despite the fact that they showed the lowest WAIS scores. Results were interpreted as being supportive of the idea that the WMS discrepancy score may be a marker of diffuse closed head injury.

Implications for the use of the WMS discrepancy score and neuropsychological ratings were discussed. The WMS discrepancy score may be more descriptive of severity in closed head injury than neuropsychological impairment ratings. Despite weaknesses in the use of the WMS as a comprehensive test of memory, it may be of clinical value when used with other tests to highlight specific difficulties in the area of fluid verbal skills or information processing. The systematic inclusion of the WMS discrepancy score in the evaluation of closed head injuries seems warranted. Recommendations for further research were offered.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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