A population-based study of the effectiveness of pediatric preschool screening for learning problems

J. B. Chessare, D. Zinna, C. Liebich, M. T. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The identification before school entrance of children at risk for learning problems is a goal of medical and educational professionals. This study was undertaken to determine the ability of the Pediatric Examination of Educational Readiness (PEER) and a questionnaire to predict early elementary school outcome in a population derived sample. Forty-four children were administered the PEER while a parent completed a questionnaire of medical, developmental and family historical information. Educational outcome was measured using the raw reading score of the Metropolitan Readiness Test administered in the spring of the kindergarten year and pass/retain-special education placement decisions at the end of Kindergarten. Later reading competency scores on the Gates-MacGinitie Test were available on 33 children after the second grade and on 29 students after the third grade. The PEER score was the only variable retained in a function to classify children according to reading score and school success at the end of Kindergarten. The function for classifying into high or low reading score demonstrated a 91 percent success rate while that for pass/retain-special education was correct 98 percent of the time. At the end of the second grade, the PEER was 85 percent accurate and at the end of the third grade it was correct 90 percent of the time in sorting students into high/low reading groups. Since the prevalence of school dysfunction was relatively low and the sensitivity of the PEER was moderate, the screening was only minimally useful in identifying those who would experience learning problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
JournalChildren's Hospital Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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