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Mental Retardation: Determining Eligibility for Social Security Benefits
tions among minority children. However, research that indicates a causal relationship between the childrearing practices of minority families in North America and developmental delay is very limited. Comparative research examining the relationship between minority status and pronounced delays that are not accounted for by socioeconomic factors is also limited. However, available data are sufficient to raise concerns that such issues should be studied further (Bryant et al., 1999; Craig & Tasse, 1999).
To some extent, inclusion of participants representative of the general population, including racial and ethnic minorities, in norming samples should mitigate against biases in scoring of adaptive behavior scales. To the extent that low income or very low income is more common among certain ethnic minority groups, however, differences in developmental trajectories for children may reflect differences in childrearing practices and stimulation that are associated with economic and social class and related levels of parental education (Hart, 2000; Hart & Risley, 1992; Walker et al., 1994).
Although research from the 1970s and 1980s found comparable performance on adaptive behavior scales among majority and minority ethnic groups (Bryant et al., 1999; Craig & Tasse, 1999), linguistic factors remain a concern. These include such considerations as interviewing informants in their primary language and dialect, and the comparability of translations of items in adaptive behavior scales to particular languages and dialects, including dialects in English (e.g., American and British). Translation is a concern because the comparability of translations of items has seldom been confirmed through back-translation from the translated content to the initial language, or through confirmatory analysis through further retranslation (Craig & Tasse, 1999). Noncomparability of items may alter norms due to item wording that requires a higher developmental level of performance in the translated item. Also, English language norms may be lower than the typical performance of a same-age child in another culture. Cross-cultural and cultural subgroup studies of adaptive behavior differences among ethnic, racial, or national groups are certainly needed, but evi-