Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Scott L. Decker


As diverse populations within schools increase, the need for culturally-sensitive assessment is essential; however, test of ability vary in their degree of influence from culture. No test is “culture free,” but the low-linguistic demands on test of visual-motor integration (VMI) make them appropriate for use with diverse populations. Variation in VMI test performance due to cultural factors has negative implications for test interpretation and use with diverse populations because of VMI’s significant association with school readiness, academic achievement, social-emotional functioning, and neuropsychological assessment. The current study explored the cultural invariance of the Bender Motor Gestalt Test, Second Edition (BG-II), a test of VMI, using Differential Item Functioning (DIF). Analyses were conducted using a subset of data from the normative sample of the BG-II, which included the BG-II’s copy phase items for 935 African-American, Hispanic, and Caucasian children ages 4 to 7 years. Overall, results indicated that the BG-II can be considered a culturally invariant measure, but caution should be used when interpreting item 3 of the copy phase, only for African-American 4- year-olds due to significant DIF. It is currently unclear why item 3 has significant DIF for African-American 4-year-olds, and continued research on the cultural invariance of the BG-II is needed to facilitate the development and use of culturally appropriate measures.


© 2014, Emma Kate C. Wright

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