The challenge of correctly identifying gifted students has long been understood to be one of the most critical issues to be resolved before the field of gifted education can move forward and better serve gifted students (Pfeiffer, 2003; Cramer 1991). This is particularly true in Puerto Rico where gifted education has experienced insufficient support and lack of early identification methods is a significant problem (Pérez-Brebán 2005b). Given the need for reliable and psychometrically sound instruments to be utilized in the identification process of gifted students, this study set out to test the reliability and validity of a Spanish version of the Gifted Rating Scales-School From (GRS-S) with a sample of island-residing Puerto Rican elementary and middle school students. Specifically, the study examined the scales’ reliability, particularly in comparison to reliability results from the U.S. standardization sample. The criterion validity of the Spanish version of the GRS-S was tested by correlating student’s scores on the scales with student academic achievement, as measured by classroom grades in the core academic areas of math, science, social studies, and Spanish, as well as with overall grade point average. Student scores on the scales were also correlated with the Pruebas Puertorriqueñas de Aprovechamiento Académico (PPAA; Educational Testing Service, 2007), the island’s local normed-referenced academic achievement test. The convergent validity of the Spanish GRS-S was examined by comparing student’s scores on the individual scales with scores on the Naglieri Non-verbal Test of Intelligence (NNAT; Naglieri, 2003). Finally, a confirmatory factor analysis was completed to evaluate if the factor structure of the Spanish GRS-S was consistent with that of the original English version.
Reliability analysis using Cronbach’s (1951) Coefficient Alpha, α, yielded excellent reliability results, with values ranging from .98 to .99. Reliability results were comparable to those from the U.S. standardization sample, which ranged from .97 to .99; however, standard error of measurement was higher across the scales for this study. Criterion validity was established for the Spanish GRS-S with positive and significant correlations between student scores on the GRS-S scales and classroom grades. Several positive and significant correlations were also found between student scores on the GRS-S and the PPAA. Particularly high correlations were found between student scores on the GRS-S Motivation Scale and both measures of academic achievement; this finding provides initial support for the value of the Motivation scale, as proposed in the test manual (Pfeiffer & Jarosewich, 2003). Correlations between the GRS-S Creativity Scale and academic achievement were also higher than expected, thus highlighting the possibility that creativity may have a culturally distinct role within this population. Results from this study also provide evidence for the convergent validity of the Spanish GRS-S. Correlations between the Spanish GRS-S scale scores and intellectual ability scores from the NNAT revealed positive and significant relationships. Results from the confirmatory factor analysis lend preliminary support for the validity of a six factor model, such as that proposed for the original English version, particularly in comparison to that of a one-factor model. Overall, findings suggest that the Spanish GRS-S scores preliminarily retain appropriate psychometric properties; results provide preliminary support for the Spanish version of the GRS-S as a reliable and potentially useful screening measure for use in the identification of island Puerto Rican gifted students. A cost-efficient, proficient measure, such as the GRS-S, may be a practical instrument to consider as policies and procedures develop within gifted education programs in Puerto Rico.