Structural Validity of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–Fifth Edition: Confirmatory Factor Analyses With the 16 Primary and Secondary Subtests

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Abstract

The factor structure of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fifth Edition (WISC-V; Wechsler, 2014a) standardization sample (N = 2,200) was examined using confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) with maximum likelihood estimation for all reported models from the WISC-V Technical and Interpretation Manual (Wechsler, 2014b). Additionally, alternative bifactor models were examined and variance estimates and model-based reliability estimates (ω coefficients) were provided. Results from analyses of the 16 primary and secondary WISC-V subtests found that all higher-order CFA models with 5 group factors (VC, VS, FR, WM, and PS) produced model specification errors where the Fluid Reasoning factor produced negative variance and were thus judged inadequate. Of the 16 models tested, the bifactor model containing 4 group factors (VC, PR, WM, and PS) produced the best fit. Results from analyses of the 10 primary WISC-V subtests also found the bifactor model with 4 group factors (VC, PR, WM, and PS) produced the best fit. Variance estimates from both 16 and 10 subtest based bifactor models found dominance of general intelligence (g) in accounting for subtest variance (except for PS subtests) and large ω-hierarchical coefficients supporting general intelligence interpretation. The small portions of variance uniquely captured by the 4 group factors and low ω-hierarchical subscale coefficients likely render the group factors of questionable interpretive value independent of g (except perhaps for PS). Present CFA results confirm the EFA results reported by Canivez, Watkins, and Dombrowski (2015); Dombrowski, Canivez, Watkins, and Beaujean (2015); and Canivez, Dombrowski, and Watkins (2015).

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