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Perceptrral a n d A*lotor Skills, 1964, 19, 463-499. @ Southern Universities Press 1964 Monograph Supplement 2-V19 THE MARIANNE FROSTIG DEVELOPMENTAL TEST OF 1963 S T A N D A R D I Z A T I O N ' VISUAL PERCEPTION, MARlANNE FROSTJG PHYLLIS MASLOW Marianne Frostig School of Educational Therapy, Los Angeles D. WELTY LEFEVER Universiry of Southern California, Los Angeles J O H N R. B. WHITTLESEY Brain Research Institute Universiq of California. Los Angeles History . . of Construction and Des
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  Perceptrral and A*lotor Skills, 1964, 19, 463-499. Southern Universities Press 1964 Monograph Supplement 2-V19 THE MARIANNE FROSTIG DEVELOPMENTAL TEST O VISUAL PERCEPTION, 1963 STANDARDIZATION' PHYLLIS MASLOW MARlANNE FROSTJG Marianne Frostig School of Educational Therapy, os Angeles D. W LTY LEFEVER JOHN R. B. WHITTLESEY Universiry of Southern California, Los Angeles Brain Research Institute Universiq of California. Los Angeles History of Construction and Description of Test 463 Statlstlcal Information 467 eliability and Validity Smdies 488 Proposed Further Work on Test Standardization 497 Overview 498 References 498 Summary.-This monograph summarizes statistical data on the 1963 srand- ardization sample of over 2100 unselected nursery school and public school children bernreen the ages of 3 and 9 yr. who were tested with the Marianne Frostig Developmental Test of Visual Perception. The rest contains five sub- rests, assessing relatively distinct functions. It may be administered either individually or to groups. Reliability and validity studies support use of the test as the basis for remedial training programs in visual perception. HISTORY F ONSTRU TION ND DES RIPTION F TEST? Intelligence tests, if the tests are to be useful in identifying children whose IQs deviate from the norm, milst be standardized for normal children. In the same way, it was necessary to map the normal development of visual perception as the first step coward establishing a perceptual quotient for individual chil- dren. Ic was then possible to use the test to detect those children whose per- cepnial abilities were retarded in comparison with the norm. Test construction was preceded and accompanied by several years' obser- vation of children who were referred to the Marianne Frostig School of Educa- tional Therapy because of learning difficulties. large number of the children had been diagnosed as having minimal brain damage, but whatever the diagnos- 'The standardization of the test and the research undertaken with it were brought to the current level with the help of many people. The research was supported in part by funds from the Rosenberg Foundation. In addition, we are most grateful to Mr. Jack Hoffman, Mr. Saul Braverman, and many other contributors too numerous to name, for their generous financial support. Special thanks are due to the reachers and admin- istrators in the following school systems, who have permitted us to test their children and freely given time, advice, and active help: Compton, Covina, Culvet City, Entet- prise, Glendora, Hermosa Beach, Hudson, Inglewood, Los Angeles City, Palos Verdes, and Santa Monica. We also wish to express our appreciation of the selfless efforts of the members of the Board of the Foundation of Educational Therapy, who, both as a group and individually have provided continual moral and financial support. vailable from Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, California.  464 P MASLOW, ET AL tic category, most of the children were found to have visual or auditory per- ceptual disturbances as measured by such tests as the Bender-Gestalt, Goode- nough, Wepman Test of Auditory Discrimination, and tests of aphasia. Disturbances in visual perception were by far most frequent symptoms and seemed to contribute to the learning difficulties. Children who had difficulty in - writing seemed to be handicapped by poor eye-hajzd coordi?zation, and children who could not recognize words often seemed to have disturbances in figare- ground perceptzo?z. Other children were unable to recognize a letter or word when it was written in different sizes or colors, or when it was printed in upper- case print and they were used to seeing it in lower-case. It was postulated that these children had poor form constancy. Like everyone else who has worked with young children, we noticed thac many children produced letters or words in mirror writ:ng. Such reversals or rotations indicated a difficulty in per- ceiving position n space, while interchanging the order of letters in a word suggested difficulties in analyzing spatial relationships (as well as indicating the possibility of auditory perceptual difficulties). As a rule, these latter children could neither read nor spell longer words. It was also observed thac many of the children with evident disabilities in visual perception had difficulty in pay- ing sustained attention and/or showed behavioral deviations. Dr. Marianne Frostig has attempted to construct a test to explore further the development in these five areas of visual perception, postulating, on the basis of experience, as well as findings of others, such as Thurstone 1944), Wedell 1960 , Cruickshank 1957 ), that each of the five abilities developed relatively independently of the ochers, and that there should be specific relationships be- tween them and a child's ability to learn and adjust. It was never believed that these five visual perceptual abilities were the only ones involved in the total process of visual perception, but they were conceived to be important parts of the process, seemed to have particular relevance to school performance, and were therefore studied. The preliminary construction of the test was begun in 1955. baseline was first established for the test by determining which items could be used with nursery school children. The simplest items that could be devised were in- cluded. In testing eye-hand coordination (Subtest I), for instance, the child was first required to draw a line within a straight broad band. Subsequent bands became increasingly narrow and also included angles or curves. The items used to assess figure-ground perception (Subtest 11) involved distinguishing a single figure on a shaded background, and progressed to differentiating between inter- secting figures. Later the children were asked to outline hidden figures. The items employed to tap nascent form constancy (Subtest 111 were simply circles and then squares. The easiest items pertaining to position in space (Subtest IV) were exercises to test the ability to detect a figure that faced a different di-  FROSTIG TEST STANDARDIZATION 465 rection from the majority; these were followed by finding figures positioned identically. Reversals were regarded as more easily perceived than rotations. In testing for early perception of spatial relationships (Subtest V), the copying of a vertical or horizontal line by connecting two docs was found to be the simplest item. This task was followed by copying an oblique line, and so on. To avoid contamination of percept~~al asks with visual-motor skills, an attempt was made to differentiate cests of copying from those of recognition. Subtests 11,111, and IV require only recognicion. Subtest I requires simple motor skills, and Subtest V requires copying. The pilot sn~dy, sing the preliminary test, was conducted in 1959. The findings indicated that all items of Subtest I were of sufficient value to be re- rained, as were the first six icems of Subtest I1 and the first two icems of Subtest IV (the latter with slight modifications). Subtest I11 needed to be changed completely. In a continuation of the pilot work, new items and combinations of items from Si~btest 11 were administered to several groups of a hundred or more school children during this year, in order to find out which were most efficient in differentiating between age levels. The first formal version of the tesc seemed unsatisfactory primarily because the ceiling was too low. In the second version of the test, prepared in January, 1960 a few new items were tried on each subtest, and Subtesc 111 was changed again. All the items in Subtescs 11, 111, and IV which involved copying were eliminated. The second version was used only with a few hundred children. Because t was designed solely to bring to light further flaws, the results were not included in the standardization studies to be reported here. On the basis of an item analysis of this version, Subtest was found to be in need of further revision; easier items were added to Subtest V; and the order of two items in Subcest I was changed. At the same time. new scoring and evaluation methods were developed. The concepts of the perceptual quotient and the percepn~al age were introduced. All of these changes were incorporated into the present version of the tesc, published in March, 1961 and referred to as the Third Edition.'' The criteria used for the final selection of items in each subtest area were good age progression (in the five areas of visual perception tested, clear evidence of age progression was found from three years of age L P co about seven and a half, but with little development after that age) and low degree of contami- nation with other abilities (different visual perceptual abilities seem to be disturbed relatively independently of each ocher). The items which were most difficult to construct were those relating to form constancy, which had not been used in other cests before this one. Eight different versions of this subtesr were constructed and tested as well as single icems, before one was found which was regarded as satisfactory.  P. MASLOW T AL The present standardization is based on the responses of over 2100 chil- dren tested with the 1961 (third) edition. As in the previous versions, the child is required to attempt carefully graded tasks in the five areas of visi~al perception enumerated above. In eye-hand coordination, the child s task is to draw straight and curved lines between in- creasingly narrow boundaries or to draw a straight line to a target. In figure- ground perception the child is asked to discriminate between intersecting shapes and to find hidden figures. In the form constancy subtest, the task is to dis- criminate circles and squares in different shadings, sizes and positions, among other shapes on the page. The fourth subtest measures perception of position in space (directionality). The child is required to differentiate between figures in an identical posit:on and those in a reversed or rotated position. In the subtest of spatial relationships, the task is to copy patterns by linking dots. TABLE NUMBERS F CHILDREN N HALF-YEAR GE GROUPS, 963 STANDARDIZATION Age Level Number of Children 3 -3 107 3 M-4 127 4 -4 170 444-5 164 -5 142 5 -6 229 6 -6 232 6 -7 240 -7 185 7 5-8 214 8 -8 79 8 -9 127 Total 2116:: *This number includes all children used in this present standardization. Some additional calculations (those for Tables 5 and 6) are based on a somewhat smaller sample, since two items of Subtest 11 were not administered to a few of the children, and the scores of this latter group were not included in the statistical analyses mentioned. Their scores on Subtests I, 111 IV and V, however, were used in the standardization. The scoring procedure adopted in 96 allowed a maximum possible score of 30 points for Subtest I, 10 for Silbcest 11 17 for Subrest 111 8 for Subtest IV, and 8 for Subtest V Suggestions were made in personal communications from Dr. M. L. J. Abercrombie, Guy s Hospital, London, England, and Dr. David Freides, Lafayette Clinic, Detroit, Michigan, that certain changes in scoring might enhance the diagnoscic value of the test. To explore these suggestions, all 1548 test booklets from the standardization sample for children aged yr. or older were rescored for Subtests I1 and V
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