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Bayesian Structural Equation Modeling of the WISC-IV with a Large Referred US Sample

Watkins, Marley W.
Canivez, Gary L.
Published in 9th Conference of the International Test Commission. San Sebastian (Spain) - 2-5 July - . 2014
Abstract Numerous studies have supported exploratory and confirmatory bifactor structures of the WISC-IV in US, French, and Irish samples. When investigating the structure of cognitive ability measures like the WISC-IV, subtest scores theoretically associated with one latent variable could also be related to other factors. A major drawback of classical confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) is that the majority of factor loadings need to be fixed to zero to estimate the model parameters. This unnecessary strict parameterization can lead to model rejection and cause researchers to perform many exploratory modifications to achieve acceptable model fit. Bayesian structural equation modeling (BSEM) overcomes this limitation by replacing fixed-to-zero-loadings with “approximate” zeros that translates into small, but not necessary zero, cross-loadings. Because all relationships between factors and subtest scores are estimated, both the number of models to be tested and the risk of capitalizing on the chance characteristics of the data are decreased. The objective of this study was to determine whether secondary interpretation of the 10 WISC-IV core subtests from a large referred US sample could be justified or whether a simple and unambiguous interpretation was more appropriate. To achieve this goal, the influence of each latent factor on subtest scores was estimated using BSEM. WISC-IV data were obtained from 1,130 US children (ages 6-0 to 16-11) who were assessed for learning difficulties and subjected to BSEM. Two substantive cross-loadings were found with a higher order 4-factor model suggesting that secondary interpretation of some subtest scores could be adequate. However, a bi-factor alternative (with four first-order factors and one general factor) compared favorably to the higher order model. With the bi-factor model, no secondary interpretation of the subtest scores was supported by these data.
Keywords IntelligenceWISC-IVBSEMFactor analysis
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Presentation (Author postprint) (1.2 MB) - public document Free access
Research group Evaluation psychométrique et différences individuelles (EPEDI)
(ISO format)
GOLAY, Philippe et al. Bayesian Structural Equation Modeling of the WISC-IV with a Large Referred US Sample. In: 9th Conference of the International Test Commission. San Sebastian (Spain). 2014. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:38747

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Deposited on : 2014-07-18

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