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ISSN 1805-7225




CMAS / SPAS – Computer scaling and its possible use in the pediatric population

Authors: Tomáš Žilinčík, Miroslav Novotný


Compared to conventional paper-pencil testing, computer administration of diagnostic methods has many advantages but also some disadvantages. In the questionnaires, the use of a computer is relatively non-problematic and psychologists in practice appreciate the time and material efficiency, standardized procedure, and fast and flawless result evaluation. However, in the performance tests (e.g. intelligence tests) it frequently happens that different computer versions of certain classical methods are not equivalent, and thus the results can vary significantly depending on the selected form of testing. The objective of this article is to provide a brief description of the two questionnaires, in which the computerized form of administration seems to be a better choice than classical administration.

CMAS – “Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale” created by Castaneda, McCandless and Palermo was standardized on Czech population by Fischer and Gjuričová in 1974. The questionnaire gives us an approximate estimation of child’s anxiety (trait anxiety), controlled by a range of social desirability (i.e. lie scale). In Anglo-Saxon countries, the revised version of this scale (R-CMAS) is now widely used. This scale however has not been standardized in the Czech Republic yet. Another problem is the fact that the RCMAS test results show significant cross-cultural differences.

SPAS – “Student’s Perception of Ability Scale” was created by Boersma and Chapman in 1978; the Czech version was standardized by Matějček and Vágnerová in 1987. This method is used to find out the way the children experience and evaluate their performance and what impression they have of their skills and abilities. Reduced evaluation is typically manifested in anxious children (correlation with CMAS test:

-0,655 in boys, -0,702 in girls) and in children with specific learning disability.

With regard to standards obsolescence, it is advisable to use both tests as a fast orientation screening in order to be prepared for subsequent interview with the child.

Key words: computer diagnostics, CMAS, SPAS

Volume 3 Issue 3/2014 Full text pdf

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