Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Psychology in the Schools 47:10 (2010), pp. 975–984;

doi: 10.1002/pits.20518


© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Used by permission.


Auditory processing disorders (APDs) are of interest to educators and clinicians, as they impact school functioning. Little work has been completed to demonstrate how children with APDs perform on clinical tests. In a series of studies, standard clinical (psychometric) tests from the Wechsler Intel-ligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) were used to establish concurrent validity be-tween tests of short-term auditory memory and two frequently used tests of auditory processing (Dichotic Digits and Frequency Patterns). The diagnostic utility of the short-term memory tests was also explored. In a matched sample, Digit Span forward predicted diagnosis of APD (sensitivity = .81, specificity = .78). Furthermore, within-subjects analyses for the clinical group found that Digit Span forward scores were significantly lower than those for the other psychometric tests (p values < .001 for Digit Span backward, Letter Span nonrhyming and rhyming scores). Although APD is a low base-rate condition, the utility of these tests as a potential screener or marker for APDs was demonstrated. The need for further studies was endorsed.

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