General and specific effects on cattell-horn-carroll broad ability composites: Analysis of the woodcock- johnson III normative update cattell-horn-carroll factor clusters across development


Many school psychologists focus their interpretation on composite scores from intelligence test batteries designed to measure the broad abilities from the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory. The purpose of this study was to investigate the general factor loadings and specificity of the broad ability composite scores from one such intelligence test battery, the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities Normative Update (Woodcock, McGrew, Schrank, &Mather, 2007). Results from samples beginning at age 4 and continuing through age 60 indicate that Comprehension-Knowledge, Long-Term Retrieval, and Fluid Reasoning appear to be primarily measures of the general factor at many ages. In contrast, Visual-Spatial Thinking, Auditory Processing and Processing Speed appear to be primarily measures of specific abilities at most ages. We offer suggestions for considering both the general factor and specific abilities when interpreting Cattell-Horn-Carroll broad ability composite scores. Copyright 2009 by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Publication Title

School Psychology Review

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