Cognitive Assessment System™ – Second Edition

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PASS Theory
  • Resources

    Jack A. Naglieri, Anthony Paolitto

    Ohio State University

    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is typically described as a delay in the development of response inhibition (DuPaul & Stoner, 1994) (described as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in DSM-IV) leading to problems with impulsivity, overactivity, and inattention. To a lesser extent, individuals with inattention (described as Attention Deficit Inattentive in DSM-IV) are also identified. This problem occurs in 3-5% of school ages children from all socioeconomic, cultural, and racial backgrounds, but it is more prevalent in males. Identification of ADD typically involves structured interviews and behavior rating scales (Barkley, 1990) and the Wechsler has been utilized, although evidence for its effectiveness has not been found (Anastopoulos, Spisto, & Maher, 1994). In this workshop, we will discuss the current problems with identification, treatment, and how to effectively identify problems with inattention and/or impulsivity using a variety of methods, including the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS)(Naglieri & Das, 1997).

    Current Status

    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is typically described as a delay in the development of response inhibition (DuPaul & Stoner, 1994) (described as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in DSM-IV) leading to problems with impulsivity, overactivity, and inattention. Individuals with inattention (described as Attention Deficit Inattentative in DSM-IV) can also identified, but these children are less often found. This problem occurs in 3-5% of school ages children from all socioeconomic, cultural, and racial backgrounds, but it is more prevalent in males and often constitutes as many as 50% of referrals (Lerner, Lowenthal, & Lerner, 1995). ADD is an important problem found in children and it has important implications for academic performance and future success. Identification of ADD typically involves structured interviews and behavior rating scales (Barkley, 1990). Although the Wechsler scales have been used, evidence for its effectiveness has not been found. For example, Anastopoulos, Spisto, and Maher (1994) found that children identified as ADHD had normal scores on the WISC-R Verbal Comprehension (103.9), Perceptual Organization (103.3), and Freedom From Distractibility (96.0) scales. Moreover, Barkley (1990) states "I do not recommend that this factor [Freedom from Distractibility] be used in assessing attention or in establishing evidence for or against a diagnosis of ADHD (p. 331)".

    Future Directions

    If ADD is seen as primarily a problem of inhibition of action which is associated with frontal lobe activity, then it would be expected that such persons would be poor in planning as well as attention as described by Das, Naglieri & Kirby (1994) in their discussion of the Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, Successive (PASS) theory. Those with inattention problems would likely be poor in the Attention dimension of the PASS theory while children could also have cognitive problems in both areas. These possibilities were examined in the following study.

    The four PASS processes were assessed using the CAS (Naglieri & Das, 1997a) which is an individually administered test for children aged 5 through 17 years of age. The test is standardized on 2,200 persons aged 5 years 0 months to 17 years 11 months who closely match the U. S. population on the basis of gender, race (Black, White, Asian, Native American, Other), Hispanic origin, Region, community setting (Urban/Suburban, Rural), classroom placement (full-time regular classroom, part-time Special Education Resource, full-time Self-Contained Special Education), educational classification, and parental educational attainment level. The CAS is comprised of PASS processing subtests that have undergone extensive development and validation in both experimental (see Das, Naglieri, & Kirby, 1994) and final published forms (see Naglieri & Das, 1997b). Each subtest yields a standardized score with a mean of 10 and SD of 3. Subtests are combined into PASS Scales and a Full Scale, each of which are set at a mean of 100 and SD of 15. Evidence for the reliability of the subtests and PASS Scales are provided in the manual. The average reliabilities for the Scales are as follows: Planning= .88; Simultaneous= .93; Attention= .88; Successive= .93; and Full Scale= .96. Support for the content, construct, and criterion-related validity of the scales is also provided (Naglieri & Das, 1997b). Each PASS subtest is described below.

    Planning Tests

    Matching Numbers (MN) consists of four pages each consisting of eight rows of numbers with six numbers per row. Children are instructed to underline the two numbers in each row that are the same. Numbers increase in length across the four pages from one digit to seven digits with four rows for each digit length. Each item has a time limit. Children 5 to 7 years are administered Items 1 and 2, and children 8 through 17 Items 2 through 4. The subtest score is based on the combination of time and number correct (accuracy score) for each page. Accuracy scores are summed and used as a measure of the child's efficiency. This subtest has an average internal reliability of .75.

    Planned Codes (PCd) contains two pages, each with a distinct set of codes and arrangement of rows and columns. A legend at the top of each page shows a correspondence of letters with codes (e.g., A, B, C, D to OX, XX, OO, XO, respectively). The page contains seven rows and eight columns of letters without codes. Children fill in the appropriate codes in empty boxes beneath each letter. On the first page, all the As appear in the first column, all the Bs in the second column, all the Cs in the third column, etc. On the second page, letters are configured in a diagonal pattern. The time and number correct (accuracy score) is combined for each page and these two scores are summed to obtain the raw score. This score is a measure of the child's efficiency. The average internal reliability is .82.

    Planned Connections contains eight items. The first six items require children to connect numbers appearing in a quasi-random order on a page in sequential order. The last two items require children to connect both numbers and letters in serial order alternating between numbers and letters (for example, 1-A-2-B-3-C). The items are constructed so that children never complete a sequence by crossing one line over the other. The time needed to complete the item sequence correctly is the best measure of efficiency, so the score is the total amount of time in seconds used to complete the items. The average internal reliability is .77.

    Attention Tests

    Expressive Attention (EA) uses two different sets of items, depending on the age of the child, to measures selectivity and the ability to shift attention. The version for children 8 years and older is like the Stroop test. On the first page children read the color words (Blue, Yellow, Green, and Red) presented in quasi-random order. Next, they name the colors of a series of rectangles (printed in blue, yellow, green, and red). Finally, the words Blue, Yellow, Green, and Red are printed in a different color ink than the colors the words name. The child is instructed to name the color ink the word is printed in, rather than to read the word. For all subjects the last page only is used as the measure of attention. The raw score is the ratio of the accuracy (total number correct) and time. The average internal reliability of Expressive Attention is .80.

    Number Detection (ND) is comprised of pages of numbers that appear in different formats. On each page children are required to find a particular stimulus (the number 1, 2, and 3 printed in an open font) on a page containing many distracters (the same numbers printed in a different font style). There are 180 stimuli with 45 targets (25% targets) on the pages. The raw score for Number Detection is the ratio of the accuracy (total number correct minus the number of false detections) and the total time for each item, summed across the items, is the raw score. The more accurate the child is at detecting the target stimuli and avoiding the distracting stimuli, the higher the score will be. The average internal reliability is .77.

    Receptive Attention (RA) is a two-page paper-and-pencil subtest. For children 8 years and above two pages are given. On the first page letters that are physically the same (for example, T T but not T t) are targets, but on the second, letters that have the same name (for example, Aa not Ba) are targets. Each page contains 200 pairs of letters with 50 targets (25% targets) and the same set of distracters. The raw score is the ratio of the accuracy (total number correct minus the number of false detections) and the total time for each item. These scores are summed across the items to obtain a total raw score. The average internal reliability is .77.

    Simultaneous Tests

    Nonverbal Matrices (NvM) is a 33-item multiple subtest that utilizes shapes and geometric designs that are interrelated through spatial or logical organization. Children are required to decode the relationships among the parts of the item and choose the best of six options. Each progressive matrix item is scored as correct or incorrect. The raw score is the total number of items correctly answered. The average internal reliability is .89.

    Verbal-Spatial Relations (VSR) is composed of 27 items that require the comprehension of logical and grammatical descriptions of spatial relationships. Children are shown items containing six drawings and a printed question at the bottom of each page. The items involve both objects and shapes that are arranged in a specific spatial manner. For example, the item "Which picture shows a circle to the left of a cross under a triangle above a square"? would include six drawings with various arrangements of geometric figures, only one of which matches the description. The examiner reads the question aloud and the child is required to select the option that matches the verbal description. Children must indicate their answer within the 30-second time limit to receive credit. The raw score is the total number of items correctly answered. The average internal reliability is .83.

    Figure Memory (FM) is a 27-item subtest. Children are shown a two- or three- dimensional geometric figure for five seconds. The figure is then removed and the child is presented with a response page that contains the original design embedded in a larger, more complex geometric pattern. Children are asked to identify the original design embedded within the more complex figure. For a response to be scored correct, all lines of the design have to be indicated without any additions or omissions. The total number of correct items is the raw score. The average internal reliability is .89.

    Successive Tests

    Word Series (WS) requires the child repeat words in the same order as stated by the examiner. The test consists of the following nine single-syllable, high- frequency words: Book, Car, Cow, Dog, Girl, Key, Man, Shoe, Wall. There are 27 items which the examiner reads to the child. Each series ranges in length from two to nine words, presented at the rate of one word per second. Each item is scored as either correct if the child reproduces the entire word series in the order presented. The raw score is the total number of items correctly repeated. Word Series average internal reliability is .85.

    Sentence Repetition (SR) requires the child repeat 20 sentences that are read to the child. Each sentence is composed of color words (for example, "The blue is yellowing"). The children are required to repeat each sentence exactly as it was presented. Color words are utilized so that the sentences contain little meaning and help reduce the influence of simultaneous processing and accent the demands of the syntax of the sentence. Each item is scored as correct if the sentence is repeated exactly as presented. The raw score is the total number of sentences correctly repeated. The average internal reliability is .84.

    Speech Rate (SpR) is an 8-item subtest that requires children (ages 5-7 only) to repeat a high imagery, single-, and double-syllable word series 10 times in order. The child is timed to determine how long it takes to repeat the series correctly. Examiners begin timing when the child says the first word in the series and stop timing when the child finishes repeating the last word in the tenth repetition. The raw score is the total time in seconds for all items. Speech Rate average internal reliability is .81.

    Sentence Questions (SQ) is a 21-item subtest that uses the same type of sentences as those in Sentence Repetition. Children (ages 8- 17 only) are read a sentence and then asked a question about the sentence. For example, the examiner says "The blue is yellowing" and asked the following question: "Who is yellowing?" (The answer is "The blue.") Successful completion of this task demands the comprehension of the sentence based on the serial placement of the words. Each item is scored as correct if the child successfully answers the question regarding the sentence. The raw score is the total number of questions answered correctly. The average internal reliability is .84.

    Sample

    Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A sample of 60 children who met DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) criteria for attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder was identified. Exclusionary criteria included the absence of other comorbid diagnoses related to ADHD symptoms (e.g., conduct disorders, anxiety disorders, oppositional defiant disorders). The sample of students with ADHD was composed of mostly white (91.7%) non-Hispanic (95.0%) males (88.3%) who ranged in age from 6.8 to 13.8 years of age (mean= 9.7; SD= 1.4) and came from the Northeast (95.5%) or South (4.5%). These students resided in urban/suburban communities (71.2%). The educational levels of the parents of these students were as follows: high school graduate= 24.2%; some college or technical school= 24.2%; and four or more years of college= 51.6%. The high proportion of males in this sample is consistent with previous ADHD research on prevalence by gender.

    The mean scores earned by the ADHD students on the CAS subtests and Scales are presented in Table 1. The children performed lowest in Planning, with depressed Attention scores. This finding is consistent with the view proposed by Barkley (1996) that behavioral disinhibition plays a central role in attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorders. According to Barkley, children with ADHD experience difficulty with the construction of goal-directed actions (plans) which disrupts persistent responding. These findings suggest that the CAS offers an important perspective on the cognitive weaknesses of children with ADHD.

  • Comparison

    Using the Simple-Difference Approach

    Jack A. Naglieri

    Ohio State University

    The values needed to compare CAS standard scores with several achievement test scores are provided in this document. The approach used is called the Simple-Difference method because it is a direct comparison of two obtained scores. The simple difference method provides values needed for significance when comparing PASS and Full Scale standard scores to those standard scores earned on several achievement tests. The formula used is the same one employed to compute similar comparisons reported in Appendix C (pages 155-158) in the CAS Interpretive Handbook (Naglieri & Das, 1997).

    The values needed to apply the Simple-Difference method are used in the following manner. First, compare the absolute value of the difference between the two scores to the tabled values. When the difference between the CAS and achievement scores is equal to or greater than the tabled value, the difference is significant. For example, if a child earned a CAS Full Scale standard score of 97 on the Standard Battery and a K-TEA Reading Comprehension score of 87, the 10 point difference is significant at p= .05. Note that Table 1 contains the values needed for significance at the .05 and .01 levels for the CAS Standard Battery; and Table 2 contains the values needed for significance at the .05 and .01 levels for the CAS Basic Battery.

    Due to the fact that the CAS and these various achievement tests were not administered to the same large number of children, the percentage of children who earned differences of varying sizes is not provided. That is, these tables provide significance not the frequency of occurrence of the differences. Nevertheless, these tables allow direct comparisons of CAS scores with a variety of achievement tests.

    Table 1. Differences Between CAS STANDARD BATTERY and Achievement Scores Required for Significance Using the Simple-Difference Method

      p value is .05   p value is .01
    CAS Standard Battery Plan Sim Att Succ FS Plan Sim Att Succ FS
    DAB - 2 Listening 12 11 12 11 9   16 14 16 14 12
      Speaking 12 10 12 10 9   16 13 16 13 12
      Reading 11 9 11 9 8   15 12 15 12 10
      Writing 11 8 11 8 7   14 11 14 11 9
      Mathematics 13 11 13 11 10   17 15 17 15 13
      Spoken Language 12 10 12 10 8   15 13 15 13 11
      Written Language 11 8 11 8 7   14 11 14 11 9
      TOTAL ACHIEVEMENT 11 9 11 9 7   14 12 14 12 9
    WIAT Basic Reading 13 11 13 11 10   17 15 17 15 13
      Mathematics Reasoning 14 12 14 12 11   19 16 19 16 15
      Spelling 14 12 14 12 11   18 16 18 16 14
      Reading Comprehension 14 13 14 13 12   19 17 19 17 15
      Numerical Operations 15 14 15 14 13   20 18 20 18 17
      Listening Comprehension 16 14 16 14 13   21 19 21 19 18
      Oral Expression 13 12 13 12 11   18 15 18 15 14
      Written Expression 16 15 16 15 14   22 20 22 20 19
      READING 12 10 12 10 9   16 13 16 13 12
      MATHEMATICS 13 11 13 11 10   17 15 17 15 13
      LANGUAGE 14 12 14 12 11   18 16 18 16 14
      WRITING 14 12 14 12 11   18 16 18 16 14
      SCREENER 12 10 12 10 8   15 13 15 13 11
      TOTAL ACHIEVEMENT 11 9 11 9 8   15 12 15 12 10
    K-TEA Reading Decoding 12 11 12 10 9   16 14 16 14 11
      Reading Comprehension 13 12 13 11 10   17 15 17 15 13
      Reading Composite 11 10 12 10 8   15 13 15 13 11
      Math Applications 13 12 13 12 10   17 16 18 16 14
      Math Computation 13 12 13 12 10   17 16 17 15 13
      Math Composite 12 11 12 10 9   16 14 16 14 11
      Spelling 12 11 13 11 9   16 15 17 14 12
      Battery Composite 11 9 11 9 7   14 12 15 12 10
    PIAT-R General Information 12 11 13 11 9   16 14 17 14 12
      Reading Recognition 11 10 12 10 8   15 13 15 13 10
      Reading Comprehension 12 11 13 11 10   16 15 17 15 13
      Total Reading 11 10 11 9 8   15 13 15 12 10
      Mathematics 12 11 13 11 9   16 14 17 14 12
      Spelling 12 11 12 11 9   16 14 16 14 12
      TOTAL TEST 11 9 11 9 7   14 12 14 12 9
    WRAT-R Reading 13 12 14 12 11   18 16 18 16 14
    BLUE Spelling 14 13 14 13 11   18 17 18 16 15
      Arithmetic 15 14 15 14 13   20 18 20 18 17
    WRAT-R Reading 14 12 14 12 11   18 16 18 16 15
    TAN Spelling 14 13 14 13 11   18 17 19 17 15
      Arithmetic 15 14 16 14 13   20 19 20 19 17
    Plan Sim Att Succ FS   Plan Sim Att Succ FS

    Formula: Z * SD (15) * Sqrt (2 - r1 - r2) or Z * Sqrt (SEMa2 +SEMb2)
    Note: All SEMs/reliabilities used were from respective Manuals based on overall age-based values.

    Table 2. Differences Between CAS BASIC BATTERY and Achievement Scores Required for Significance Using the Simple-Difference Method

      p value is .05   p value is .01
    Basic Battery Plan Sim Att Succ FS   Plan Sim Att Succ FS
    DAB - 2 Listening 13 12 14 12 13   18 15 18 15 17
      Speaking 13 11 13 11 12   17 15 18 15 16
      Reading 12 11 13 11 12   16 14 17 14 15
      Writing 12 10 12 10 11   15 13 16 13 14
      Mathematics 14 12 14 12 13   19 16 19 16 18
      Spoken Language 13 11 13 11 12   17 14 17 14 16
      Written Language 12 10 12 10 11   15 13 16 13 14
      TOTAL ACHIEVEMENT 12 10 12 10 11   16 13 16 13 15
    WIAT Basic Reading 14 12 14 12 13   19 16 19 16 18
      Mathematics Reasoning 15 13 15 13 14   20 18 20 18 19
      Spelling 15 13 15 13 14   19 17 20 17 19
      Reading Comprehension 15 14 16 14 15   20 18 20 18 19
      Numerical Operations 16 15 16 15 16   21 19 22 19 20
      Listening Comprehension 17 15 17 15 16   22 20 22 20 21
      Oral Expression 14 13 15 13 14   19 17 19 17 18
      Written Expression 17 16 17 16 17   23 21 23 21 22
      READING 13 11 13 11 12   17 15 18 15 16
      MATHEMATICS 14 12 14 12 13   19 16 19 16 18
      LANGUAGE 15 13 15 13 14   19 17 20 17 19
      WRITING 15 13 15 13 14   19 17 20 17 19
      SCREENER 13 11 13 11 12   17 14 17 14 16
      TOTAL ACHIEVEMENT 12 11 13 11 12   16 14 17 14 15
    K-TEA Reading Decoding 13 12 14 11 12   17 15 18 15 16
      Reading Comprehension 14 13 14 12 13   18 17 19 16 17
      Reading Composite 12 11 13 11 12   16 15 17 14 16
      Math Applications 14 13 15 13 14   18 17 19 17 18
      Math Computation 14 13 15 13 13   18 17 19 16 18
      Math Composite 13 12 14 11 12   17 15 18 15 16
      Spelling 13 12 14 12 13   18 16 19 16 17
      Battery Composite 12 11 13 10 11   16 14 17 13 15
    PIAT-R General Information 13 12 14 12 13   17 16 18 15 17
      Reading Recognition 12 11 13 11 12   16 15 17 14 15
      Reading Comprehension 13 12 14 12 13   18 16 19 16 17
      Total Reading 12 11 13 11 12   16 14 17 14 15
      Mathematics 13 12 14 12 13   17 16 18 15 17
      Spelling 13 12 14 12 13   17 16 18 15 17
      TOTAL TEST 12 10 13 10 11   15 14 17 13 15
    WRAT-R Reading 14 13 15 13 14   19 17 20 17 18
    BLUE Spelling 15 14 15 13 14   19 18 20 18 19
      Arithmetic 16 15 17 15 15   21 20 22 19 20
    WRAT-R Reading 14 13 15 13 14   19 18 20 17 18
    TAN Spelling 15 14 15 13 14   19 18 20 18 19
      Arithmetic 16 15 17 15 16   21 20 22 20 21
      Plan Sim Att Succ FS   Plan Sim Att Succ FS

    Formula: Z * SD (15) * Sqrt (2 - r1 - r2) or Z * Sqrt (SEMa2 +SEMb2)
    Note: All SEMs/reliabilities used were from respective Manuals based on overall age-based values.

    For additional information contact:

    Jack A. Naglieri, Ph.D.

    • 356 Arps Hall
    • 1945 North High Street
    • Ohio State University
    • Columbus, OH 43210
    • phone: 614-292-0914
    • e-mail: naglieri.1@osu.edu
  • Qualifications

    Resources

    Test User Qualifications for the Das•Naglieri Cognitive Assessment System (CAS)

    Specification of who is qualified to use the CAS is best accomplished through the recognition of the skills needed to use and interpret this instrument. Because specific professional titles in different parts of the country and world vary, as do levels of training and the regulations that govern professional practice, it is difficult to provide a list of specific professional titles. We anticipate that the CAS will be used by individuals with credentials such as psychologists (for example, clinical, school, developmental, counseling, neuropsychological, rehabilitation), certified specialists (educational diagnosticians, psychometrists), and other trained professionals who are certified to use tests of intelligence like the Wechsler scales, for example. Responsibility for proper use and interpretation of the results of the CAS rests with the practitioner. We assume that each professional who uses this system does so with an appropriate appreciation of the required level of competence and ethical responsibility and a thorough examination of the guidelines presented in this handbook.

    Restrictions for Use

    It is the responsibility of the professional who uses the CAS to ensure that the test materials are not released to individuals who may not safeguard the security of the materials. Although proper assessment practice involves communication of the nature of the test to parents, teachers, or other individuals, the practitioner should not disclose or copy test items, Record Forms, or other test materials. To do so would compromise the security, as well as the reliability, of the Scale.

  • PASS Theory

    The CAS is organized into four Scales representing the PASS theory:

    Planning

    Planning is a cognitive process by which the individual determines, selects, and uses a strategy or method to efficiently solve a problem. The planning process provides the means to solve problems for which no method or solution is immediately apparent. Planning is also important for impulse control as well as utilization of knowledge. The CAS Planning subtests require the application of strategies to perform the novel tasks presented.

    Attention

    Attention is a cognitive process by which the individual selectively attends to a particular stimulus and inhibits attending to competing stimuli.  Successful performance on the CAS Attention subtests requires attention to be focused, selective, sustained, and effortful. The tasks present competing demands on attention and require sustained focus over time to identify a target stimuli and avoid distractions.

    Simultaneous

    Simultaneous processing involves integrating separate stimuli into a single whole or group. In addition to perceiving parts into a single gestalt, simultaneous processing requires understanding logical-grammatical relationships. Simultaneous subtests in the CAS require the child to perceive objects as a group and to interrelate separate elements into a whole through examination of the stimuli during the activity or through recall.

    Successive

    Successive processing involves working with things in a specific serial order. Perception of stimuli in sequence and the formation of sounds and movements in order are required in successive processing. The Successive subtests in the CAS require the child to either reproduce a sequence of independent stimuli or answer questions based on understanding of syntactic relationships.

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