Bifactor Modeling and the Estimation of Model-Based Reliability in the WAIS-IV

Gilles Gignac, M.W. Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Citations (Scopus)


Previous confirmatory factor analytic research that has examined the factor structure of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) has endorsed either higher order models or oblique factor models that tend to amalgamate both general factor and index factor sources of systematic variance. An alternative model that has not yet been examined for the WAIS-IV is the bifactor model. Bifactor models allow all subtests to load onto both the general factor and their respective index factor directly. Bifactor models are also particularly amenable to the estimation of model-based reliabilities for both global composite scores (ωh) and subscale/index scores (ωs). Based on the WAIS-IV normative sample correlation matrices, a bifactor model that did not include any index factor cross loadings or correlated residuals was found to be better fitting than the conventional higher order and oblique factor models. Although the ωh estimate associated with the full scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) scores was respectably high (.86), the ωs estimates associated with the WAIS-IV index scores were very low (.13 to.47). The results are interpreted in the context of the benefits of a bifactor modeling approach. Additionally, in light of the very low levels of unique internal consistency reliabilities associated with the index scores, it is contended that clinical index score interpretations are probably not justifiable. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-662
JournalMultivariate Behavioral Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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