Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Joseph C. Witt


Recent developments, including and especially the passage of legislation such as P.L. 99-457, have led to a call for more sophisticated technology to accurately assess at-risk preschool children. In addition, there is an urgent need for well trained professionals to perform these assignments. The purpose of the present study was to utilize the Lens Model methodology to examine variables professionals believe are important predictors of successful kindergarten functioning. In addition, the study also explored which variables would actually predict successful kindergarten functioning. Four major findings emerged from the study. First, results indicated that, for the professionals, Social Skills and Cognitive functioning were the variables most utilized in making predictions of kindergarten performance. Second, professionals (i.e., psychologists, assessment teachers, etc.) made predictions which were less accurate for actual kindergarten functioning than preschool teachers. Third, professionals were inconsistent in their decision-making and frequently made different decisions regarding kindergarten functioning when presented with the same data at two different points in time. Finally, professionals did not appear to be aware of their policy (i.e., which cues they used) for making decisions regarding kindergarten functioning. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for best practices in preschool assessment and decision-making.