Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


Communicative Disorders

First Advisor

Colleen Karow


This study examined the problem-solving abilities of adolescents, using a newly designed test, RAPS (the Rapid Assessment of Problem-Solving), by Marshall & Karow (2001). The tool is a modified version of the Twenty Questions Test that measures performance based on the number of questions asked to solve each problem, the percent of constraint-seeking questions used, and the efficiency or the amount of information gained from the first four questions asked. Participants included a total of 20 children with no history of neurological or psychiatric disorders who were categorized by age groups (10-11, 12-13, 14-15, and 16-17) with five subjects in each group. ANOV A results revealed there were no statistical differences among the four age groups for any of the three RAPS measures. Although children did not solve RAPS problems optimally, where they eliminate half of the picture board with each question asked, they did primarily ask questions which targeted groups of pictures based on semantic category labels. Compared to previous RAPS studies (Marshall, Karow, Morelli, Iden, & Dixon, 2003) children performed similarly to adult normal subjects both in the efficiency with which they solved the problems and in the types of questions they asked. The youngest group of children did appear to perform differently than the other groups; however, these differences were not identified statistically, possibly due to the low number of subjects per group. Finally, normal children did not improve their performance on successive administrations, which further supports the developing methodologies and scoring system of RAPS.



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