Title

Hierarchical and cross-age confirmatory factor analysis of the WISC-III: What does it measure?

Authors

TZ Keith
EL Witta

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-1997

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The latest version of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, the WISC-III, is generating the research and professional interest that would be expected of this venerable tool. The WISC-III manual anticipated this interest with considerable information about the reliability and validity of the new scale. Nevertheless, questions remain about the constructs measured by the WISC-III. This research had multiple purposes. It sought to determine (a) whether the WISC-III measures the same constructs (whatever those constructs are) across its 11 year age span, and (b) what constructs are measured by the WISC-III. This research also sought to illustrate the methodology appropriate for such analyses: Multi-sample, hierarchical confirmatory factor analyses were performed on the WISC-III standardization data. The covariance matrices for the Il age levels were statistically indistinguishable; the test does measure the same constructs across ages. Four factors, as anticipated in the manual, were supported in the hierarchical analysis, and again were remarkably consistent across ages. Loadings of first-order factors on the second-order g (general intelligence) factor argue against naming the third factor Freedom from Distractibility, however. Rather, this factor, with its very high loading on g, may be a measure of Quantitative Reasoning.

Publication Title

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY QUARTERLY

Volume

12

Issue

2

First Page

89

Last Page

107