Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the Grammatic Closure (GC) subtest of the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA) and both the receptive and expressive portions of the Northwestern Syntax Screening; Test (NSST-R) (NSST-E). Another aim of this study was to obtain an indication as to whether or not these assessments are more strongly a measure of visual or of auditory comprehension.

The subjects included thirty-eight, children selected from Sacred Heart School in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. The subjects were screened according to established criteria and all subjects who failed to meet the requirements were excluded from the study. All subjects were seen on an individual basis.

The NSST, GC subtest, Visual Reception (VR) subtest, and the Auditory Reception (AR) subtest of the ITPA were administered by the researcher and another qualified graduate student. The VR and AR subtests were utilized to measure auditory and visual comprehension. Data obtained from the four assessments were analyzed by intercorrelation analysis.

Results indicated a moderately high correlation between the NSST-E and the GC (.68) and a moderately low correlation between the NSST-R and the GC (.36). Low correlations resulted among the NSST-R and the VR (.08) and AR (.10) subtests. A moderately low correlation resulted between the NSST-E and AR (.38) with a low correlation between the NSST-E and VR (.26). Moderate correlations resulted among the GC, AR (.52), and VR (.41) subtests of the ITPA.

The results of the study indicated that the GC subtest and the NSST-E were measuring similar aspects of syntax. In view of this fact, it was concluded that if during screening one must choose between the GC subtest of the ITPA and the NSST, the GC subtest would be recommended because it is less time consuming to administer and can be utilized for a wider age range. However, it must be recognized that the less time consuming measure (GC subtest) also obtains more limited information due to the lack of a receptive measure. The NSST-E correlated higher with auditory comprehension (.38) than to visual, comprehension (.26). The NSST-R was not related to either auditory or visual comprehension. The GC subtest was more related to auditory than to visual comprehension.