Date of Award

8-13-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles Kevin Fortner, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

William Curlette, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Hongli Li, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Tiffany Hogan, Ph.D.

Abstract

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Fifth Edition (WISC-V; Wechsler, 2014) is expected to be the most widely used measure of intelligence of school aged children in the United States for at least the next ten years. Results of this assessment are used to make decisions about students' educational placements. Evidence of structural validity of previous versions of the Wechsler scales with subjects who have been referred for evaluation due to a suspected disability was rarely examined. Only six studies focused on evidence of structural validity of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Fourth Edition with referred samples, during its reign as the leading measure of intelligence for over a decade. In five of those studies, researchers employed confirmatory factor analysis, while exploratory factor analysis was employed in one study. In this study, I investigated the factor structure and measurement invariance of the WISC-V with students who had been referred for evaluation because of academic and/or behavioral difficulties. Participants were African-American students in one urban school district in the southeastern United States who were administered the WISC-V during the 2015-2017 school years. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted using Mplus version 7.4 to determine whether the referred sample’s data fit the 10 primary subtest structural model that is published in the WISC-V Technical and Interpretive Manual (Wechsler, 2014). Results indicated that the best fitting structural model was the four-factor hierarchical model, not the five-factor hierarchical model that the publishers endorse. Measurement invariance of the WISC-V between genders was also investigated using Mplus version 7.4. Invariance between genders was confirmed with the four-factor model. The five-factor model of the female sample’s data would not converge, which suggested measurement variance between genders or one of several other problems commonly associated with small sample sizes and large numbers of parameters to estimate. Interpretation of the WISC-V should be based on the Full Scale IQ only. Recommendations for future research were offered.

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