Vol. 13 nº 4 - Oct/Nov/Dec de 2019
Original Article Páginas: 427 a 435

The Mini-Mental Examination for Children (MMC): evidence of validity for children with learning difficulties

Authors Larissa de Souza Salvador1; Ricardo Moura2; Fernanda Oliveira Ferreira3; Peterson Marco Oliveira Andrade4; Maria Raquel Santos Carvalho5; Vitor Geraldi Haase6,7


keywords: neuropsychological tests; learning disorders; intelligence; psychomotor performance; spatial processing.

OBJECTIVE: Here we investigate the feasibility of using the MMC for screening school-aged children with learning difficulties in spelling and math.
METHODS: The MMC and other neurophysiological tests were administered to a sample of 168 children, aged 7 to 12 years. The sample was subdivided into a Control group and LD group (Math Difficulties, Spelling Difficulties, Math and Spelling Difficulties). Diagnostic accuracy was assessed with ROC analysis. Convergent and divergent validity was assessed using correlation analysis.
RESULTS: Performance on the MMC was associated with nonverbal intelligence, age and school achievement. The LD group had significantly lower performance on the MMC than the Control group. Performance on the MMC discriminated LD children with a global accuracy of around 0.80. Associations between the MMC and the other neuropsychological variables were higher for finger gnosis (r=0.40) and generally higher for early elementary school grades. The MMC proved satisfactory for identifying LD children with good accuracy. Nonverbal intelligence, and perceptual/motor abilities play an important role in MMC performance.
CONCLUSION: The MMC could be a useful instrument for screening children with LD.


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