Concurrent Validity and Reliability for the Communication Complexity Scale Purpose The Communication Complexity Scale (CCS; Brady et al., 2012) was created to fill a void in measures of expressive communication skills in individuals who communicate primarily with presymbolic or early symbolic means. CCS scores reflect expressive communication observed during interactive communication contexts. Method Two studies were completed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 06, 2018
Concurrent Validity and Reliability for the Communication Complexity Scale
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy C. Brady
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders, The University of Kansas, The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, Lawrence
  • Kandace Fleming
    Research Design and Analysis Unit, The University of Kansas, The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, Lawrence
  • Rebecca Swinburne Romine
    Research Design and Analysis Unit, The University of Kansas, The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, Lawrence
  • Alison Holbrook
    Department of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Kristen Muller
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders, The University of Kansas, The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, Lawrence
  • Connie Kasari
    Department of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Nancy C. Brady: nbrady@ku.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Editor: Cynthia Cress
    Editor: Cynthia Cress×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 06, 2018
Concurrent Validity and Reliability for the Communication Complexity Scale
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2018, Vol. 27, 237-246. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-17-0106
History: Received July 14, 2017 , Revised September 25, 2017 , Accepted October 17, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2018, Vol. 27, 237-246. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-17-0106
History: Received July 14, 2017; Revised September 25, 2017; Accepted October 17, 2017

Purpose The Communication Complexity Scale (CCS; Brady et al., 2012) was created to fill a void in measures of expressive communication skills in individuals who communicate primarily with presymbolic or early symbolic means. CCS scores reflect expressive communication observed during interactive communication contexts.

Method Two studies were completed to examine the reliability and validity of the revised CCS scores. Participants in both studies had minimal verbal skills (i.e., produced less than 20 functional words). Study 1 examined interobserver agreement, test–retest reliability, and concurrent validity for 239 participants with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 3–66 years, assessed with the protocol developed at the University of Kansas (KU CCS). CCS scores were compared with scores from the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales–Second Edition (Sparrow, Cicchetti, & Balla, 2005) and the Communication Matrix (Rowland & Fried-Oken, 2010). Study 2 examined the reliability and concurrent validity for CCS scores derived from 110 children (chronological age = 3–9) with autism from diverse backgrounds. These children were assessed with the Early Social Communication Scale (Mundy et al., 2003). CCS scores were compared with rates of communication derived from the Early Social Communication Scale.

Results CCS scores were moderately correlated with scores from existing measures of early communication. In addition, CCS scores from different raters were reliable, and test–retest scores were highly similar.

Conclusions These findings support the validity and reliability of the CCS when used with individuals across a wide range of ages and with various types of disabilities. The CCS can be used in research and clinical practice to describe extant communication levels in individuals with minimal verbal skills.

Acknowledgments
The authors acknowledge the help of families who participated in this research; Lisa Hallberg, who provided database assistance; Julie Evnen, who coordinated data collection; Nicole Tu; and graduate research assistants, who assisted with data collection. This research was supported by grants R01 HD076903 and U54 HD090216 from the National Institutes of Health and R324A160072 from the United States Department of Education, Institute of Educational Science.
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