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Neuropsychological Assessment
Battery (NAB):
Introduction and Overview
Travis White, PhD
PAR, Inc.
Development of the NAB was made possible
and funded in part by the following grants
from the National Institute of Mental
• 1 R43 MH58501-01
• 2 R44 MH58501-02
• The NAB is a comprehensive, modular
battery of 33 new neuropsychological tests,
each with an equivalent form, developed to
examine a wide array of cognitive skills and
functions in adults, age 18 and older.
• Decisions pertaining to content and format
were guided by results of a national survey of
neuropsychological assessment needs and
practices (Stern & White, 2000), and by
guidance from members of the NAB
Advisory Council and other consultants.
Rationale for the NAB
• Arthur Benton (1992): The field of
neuropsychology has lacked an integrated battery
of instruments capable of providing highly
sophisticated test data while requiring only a
relatively brief administration time.
• Oscar Parsons (1993): To meet current needs, such
a battery should (a) have good psychometric
characteristics, (b) include extensive normative
and standardization data, (c) provide clinical
information that satisfies a broad range of modern
referral sources and questions, and (d) facilitate
systematic research.
Goal of Development
• The goal underlying the development of the NAB
was to address these needs by producing a new
and innovative neuropsychological test battery
that provides a comprehensive evaluation of
neuropsychological functions in less than 4 hours.
• The NAB incorporates the conceptual framework
of Bauer (1994) and Tarter and Edwards (1986) by
offering a separate Screening Module to indicate
the need to administer additional domain-specific
Screening Module
Main Modules
Screening Attention
Domain Score
Attention Module
Screening Language
Domain Score
Language Module
Screening Memory
Domain Score
Memory Module
Screening Spatial
Domain Score
Screening Executive
Functions Domain Score
Spatial Module
Functions Module
• For those areas of functioning not included in the NAB
(e.g., motor functioning, effort, mood/personality), the
examiner can expand upon the NAB assessment with
his or her favored instruments.
• The individual examiner may choose to forego the
Screening Module and administer any or all of the five
domain-specific modules to a patient, based on
specific clinical needs.
• In addition, the flexibility inherent in the NAB also
allows for selection of individual tests from each
Module – rather than administering an entire domainspecific Module – when this type of non-battery
focused assessment is clinically warranted.
• In order to ascertain the needs of the potential
users of a new neuropsychological test battery,
PAR conducted a comprehensive national Survey
of Neuropsychological Assessment Needs (Stern
& White, 2000).
• The results served as a basis for the development
of the NAB, vis-à-vis areas of functioning to
include, length of battery, and other salient content
and format characteristics of the battery.
• An important finding was the discrepancy between
– The amount of time respondents thought was ideally
needed for a comprehensive neuropsychological
evaluation given current instrumentation (Mode = 5 to
6 hours; 25 % stated 4 hours or less) and
– The amount of time they thought was required to
conduct a realistic and reimbursable
neuropsychological evaluation in today’s health care
climate (Mode = 3 to 4 hours; 49% stated 4 hours or
• 89% of respondents stated that there was no
commercially available instrument that provided a
comprehensive evaluation within the current
time/funding constraints.
Innovative Features of the NAB
Screening for both severely impaired and fully intact
2. Comprehensive coverage of functional domains
3. Combined strengths of flexible and fixed battery
approaches to assessment
4. Avoidance of floor and ceiling effects
5. Reduced administration time
6. Coordinated norming (entire NAB normed on a single
standardization group)
7. Demographically corrected norms based on age, education
level, and sex
8. Provision of equivalent/alternate form
9. Increased user-friendliness for both examiner and
10. Focus on ecological validity
Dual-Screening Capability
• Screening capability rated as moderate-to-very
important by 74% of the survey respondents.
• In practice, neuropsychological screening is
typically geared toward identifying patients who
show no signs of brain dysfunction and no need
for extensive follow-up testing. This approach has
been formally incorporated into two popular
assessment instruments, the Dementia Rating
Scale-2 and Cognistat (NCSE).
Dual-Screening Capability
• The NAB Screening Module provides screening
recommendations at both ends of the ability spectrum.
• For each NAB Screening Domain score, two
recommendations are offered: (1) administer related
module or (2) do not administer related module.
Recommendations to forego the main module are made if:
– the patient is fully intact (i.e., lacks impairment) and
thus does not require administration of the analogous
NAB Main Module because he/she would obtain
similarly intact/above average scores
– the patient is moderate-to-severely impaired and thus
would not require administration of the analogous NAB
Main Module because he/she would likely obtain
similarly impaired scores
• If the referral question requires greater quantification and
description of the patient’s functioning, the user can
always disregard the screening algorithm and administer
the entire battery or the select functional Module(s).
Comprehensive Coverage of
Functional Domains
• Reviews of the neuropsychological literature (e.g., Lezak, 1995;
Mapou & Spector, 1995; Spreen & Strauss, 1998) have
identified seven major functional domains:
– Language and verbal communication functions
– Spatial/perceptual skills
– Sensorimotor functions
– Attention and related information processing tasks
(including working memory)
– Learning and memory
– Executive functions and problem-solving abilities
– Personality, emotional, and adaptive functions.
• This conceptual framework has been confirmed with factor
analytic studies of various neuropsychological batteries
(Larrabee & Curtiss, 1992; Leonberger et al., 1992).
Comprehensive Coverage of
Functional Domains
• The NAB was developed with the overriding goal
of providing a common set of core tests that serve
as a reasonably comprehensive standard reference
base suitable for most routine clinical applications.
• Thus, the NAB is specifically not a “screening
• The NAB is also not an exhaustive test battery that
measures every conceivable neuropsychological
skill and function.
Comprehensive Coverage of
Functional Domains
• The survey of neuropsychologists directly guided
the final content composition of the NAB into the
following six modules: Screening, Attention,
Language, Memory, Spatial, and Executive
• Within each of the functional domains, results of
the survey guided inclusion and exclusion of
specific subdomains of assessment.
Combined Strengths of Flexible and
Fixed Battery Approaches to Assessment
• The flexible and fixed battery approaches to
neuropsychological assessment each have
strengths and limitations.
• In developing the NAB, we attempted to
include as many strengths as possible, while
avoiding as many weaknesses as possible.
Combined Strengths of Flexible and
Fixed Battery Approaches to Assessment
Therefore, the NAB has the following characteristics:
1. Constant background of tests
2. Focused, patient-centered examination
3. Shorter administration times afforded by the
efficient screening/test selection
4. Minimal reliance on clinical decision-making in test
5. Standardized administration and scoring procedures
across all tests
6. Quantitative summary indexes along with numerous
measures of qualitative aspects of performance
Avoidance of Floor and Ceiling Effects
• Approximately 90% of survey respondents
indicated that it would be moderately or very
important for a new comprehensive test battery to
be appropriate for high functioning examinees and
should, therefore, avoid ceiling effects.
• Approximately 73% of survey respondents
indicated that a new battery should also be
appropriate for severely impaired patients and
should, therefore, avoid floor effects.
Avoidance of Floor and Ceiling Effects
• Thus, a guiding principle in the development of
the NAB was the avoidance of both ceiling and
floor effects, when appropriate.
• For most tests in the NAB, a continuum of
difficulty levels was included so as to provide a
relatively normal distribution in test performance.
• Difficulty ratings were provided by the Advisory
Council members and used in the initial creation
and selection of individual test items.
• In addition, item difficulty statistics were
calculated on field testing and standardization data
to assure the adequacy of distributions.
Reduced Administration Time
• The NAB provides a reasonably comprehensive
evaluation in a much briefer period than is
currently available.
• Approximately 71% of the survey respondents
indicated that a realistic and reimbursable
neuropsychological evaluation can be completed
within 3-to-4 or 4-to-5 hours (excluding record
review, interviewing, and report writing).
• The entire NAB requires less than 4 hours to
administer. In fact, in the Standardization sample,
the majority of subjects completed the NAB in
2.5 to 3 hours.
NAB Administration Time
Screening Module = 45 min.
Attention Module = 45 min.
Language Module = 35 min.
Memory Module = 45 min.
Spatial Module = 25 min.
Executive Functions Module = 30 min.
• Full NAB (5 main modules) = 180 min. (3 hrs.)
• Screening Module and Full NAB = 220 min.
(3 hrs., 40 min.)
Coordinated Norming
• Whereas much is known about the psychometric properties
of individual neuropsychological tests (Franzen, 1989;
Lezak, 1995; Mitrushina, Boone, & D’Elia, 1998; Spreen
& Strauss, 1998), very little effort has been devoted to the
examination of how individual instruments function within
a battery (Russell, 1994).
• Given the fact that 85% of the survey respondents reported
using a customized battery, the lack of psychometric data
on customized batteries represents a very large gap in the
neuropsychological knowledge base, and may lead to
critical limitations in the overall validity of clinical
decisions based on neuropsychological test data (Faust et
al., 1991).
Coordinated Norming
• The NAB fills this critical gap by providing
coordinated norms for all of the NAB tests and
composite scores collected on the same standardization
• These coordinated norms allow for within- and
between-patient score comparisons across the NAB.
• Thus, the examiner can use a single set of normative
tables (including the same age, education, and sex
corrections) for the entire NAB, rather than dealing
with the commonly used mixture of test-specific
norms compiled in each examiner’s idiosyncratic
“norms book.”
Coordinated Norming
• An important consideration in interpreting the
performance of individual examinees is the
magnitude of difference between planned
comparisons of scores.
• The coordinated norming of the NAB allows users
to interpret score differences with two types of
– Statistical significance of score differences
– Base rate of score differences
Demographically Corrected Norms
• The need to interpret neuropsychological tests
within the context of an individual’s age,
educational attainment, and sex has been well
established in the field (c.f., Heaton, Grant, &
Matthews, 1991).
• Given that over 95% of the survey respondents
viewed the availability of demographically
corrected norms as moderately (18%) or very
important (77%), the norms provided for the NAB
represent a unique and critical feature.
Demographically Corrected Norms
• The NAB demographically corrected norm sample
consists of 1,448 individuals.
• Separate normative tables are provided for all
combinations of the following demographic
– Age (18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74,
75-79, 80-97)
– Education (<=11 years, 12 years, 13-15 years, >=16
– Sex
Provision of Equivalent/Alternate Forms
• An important aspect of neuropsychological assessment is
the ability to monitor and document changes in functioning
over time.
• Survey results indicated that 96% of all respondents
viewed the detection of change over time as a moderately
(33%) or very important (63%) characteristic of a new
comprehensive neuropsychological test battery.
• Current neuropsychological instruments are poorly
equipped to meet this goal because of a lack of equivalent,
“repeatable” forms (Lezak, 1995) and a limited
understanding of practice effects on neuropsychological
testing (Sawrie et al., 1996).
Provision of Equivalent/Alternate Forms
These needs were addressed in two ways during
development of the NAB:
• Two parallel, equivalent forms were developed for
each NAB module during the initial development
• Because many repeat testing sessions occur 6 months
or more after the initial evaluation, a test-retest
reliability study of the NAB was conducted using a 6month retest interval. Resulting SEMs and expected
practice effects help differentiate meaningful score
differences from artifactual practice effects.
Increased User-Friendliness
The NAB is more user-friendly than
existing instruments with respect to:
• Modularity
• Portability
• Face validity
• Almost 90% of the survey respondents rated
modularity as either moderately (29%) or
very important (60%) for a new instrument.
• Each of the six NAB modules are “selfcontained” and may be administered
independently of the other modules.
• 76% of survey respondents rated portability as either
moderately or very important.
• NAB materials are highly portable because a minimal
number of manipulatives are required and all necessary
visual stimuli are integrated into a single stimulus booklet
for each module.
• All administration and scoring instructions are contained in
the record forms, thus eliminating the need to juggle
multiple forms and manuals during administration.
• All materials necessary for an entire NAB administration
fit into the provided attaché case.
• Approximately 73% of the survey respondents
rated computerized administration as only slightly
important or not at all important.
• Although this finding is initially surprising, it is
understandable because even laptop computers
significantly reduce portability and raise design
and psychometric problems.
• Thus, the NAB is administered entirely by an
examiner (i.e., not by computer). However, there
is a computerized scoring software package
Face Validity
• Face validity is an important and often overlooked aspect
of neuropsychological validation (Lezak, 1995; Nevo,
• Face validity refers to whether a test appears to measure
what it purports to measure, as perceived by:
– Examinees who take it
– Administrative personnel who decide upon its use
– Other technically untrained observers, such as the
examinee’s family (Anastasi & Urbina, 1997).
• Tests that lack face validity are more prone to rejection by
patients with brain dysfunction who are likely to be easily
frustrated and fatigued.
Face Validity
• The face validity of the NAB was rated by the
members of the Advisory Council, and items and
tasks with poor face validity ratings were
eliminated or modified.
• Although the attractiveness of test materials is not
often discussed in literature on face validity, the
NAB includes modern, inviting, and colorful
stimuli, materials, and artwork, including highquality digital photography.
Focus on Ecological Validity
• Ecological validity is the functional and predictive
relationship between (a) performance on a set of
neuropsychological tests during a highly
structured, office-based test session and (b)
behavior in a variety of real-world settings, such
as home, work, or school (Long, 1996).
• Over 79% of Survey respondents rated ecological
validity as being either moderately or highly
important attributes of a new comprehensive
neuropsychological test battery.
Focus on Ecological Validity
• The development of the NAB specifically
emphasized ecological validity.
• For example, each NAB module (with the
exception of Screening) includes one Daily Living
test that is designed to be highly congruent with an
analogous real-world behavior.
• By definition, NAB Daily Living tests are
multifactorial in nature.
NAB Materials
• Manuals
– NAB Administration, Scoring, and
Interpretation Manual
– NAB Psychometric and Technical Manual
– NAB Demographically Corrected Norms
– NAB U.S. Census-Matched Norms Manual
NAB Materials
• NAB Software Portfolio (NAB-SP)
– Automates many steps involved in calculating raw
scores and in obtaining normative scores and profiles.
– Two score reports: Screening and Main Modules.
– Choice of two normative samples.
– Profile graphs, including overlays of multiple
– Reports exportable to word processing programs.
– Data exportable to spreadsheet and database programs.
NAB Materials
• Test Administration Materials
– Record Forms:
• One for each Module
• One per each of two NAB equivalent forms
• All necessary instructions for administration and
NAB Materials
• Test Administration Materials
– Response Booklets:
• One each for Screening, Attention, Language, and
Executive Functions Modules
• One per each of two NAB equivalent forms
• Used for tests that require the examinee to write,
draw, or provide other similar responses
NAB Materials
• Test Administration
– Stimulus Books:
• One for each Module
• One per each of two
NAB equivalent forms
• Contain all visual
stimuli presented to
examinee for all tests
other than Map Reading
NAB Materials
• Test Administration
– Manipulatives
• Design Construction
tests in both Screening
and Spatial Modules
use a set of five flat,
blue plastic geometric
shapes (Tans) based on
the ancient Chinese
puzzle game
• Spatial Module Map
NAB Materials
• Test Administration Materials
– Scoring Templates
• Numbers & Letters tests in both Screening and
Attention Modules require scoring templates to
score omissions and commissions.
General Principles Guiding the
Development of the NAB
• Tests must be easy to administer and score
• Stimuli must be attractive and face valid
• Total administration time for the five Main Modules must be
3 hours or less
• Start with a large pool of items that represents a wide range
of difficulty
• Meaningful relationship between analogous Screening
Module and Main Module tests
• Theoretical foundation must combine empiricism (prediction)
and cognitivism (constructs)
• Test names should describe the content and/or procedures
involved (“Dots” versus “Working Memory Test”)
• Advisory council ratings must inform development activities
Item Development/Reduction/Selection
• For each test, at least two times the final number
of items/stimuli were initially created (sometimes
10 times), using detailed development criteria,
objective ratings (e.g., word frequency), and
computerized manipulations.
• Results of Advisory Council Ratings AND
numerous field testing studies guided both item
reduction/selection and equating of forms.
Test/Item Characteristics Rated by
Advisory Council
Verbal encodability
Clinical utility
Ecological validity
Education bias
• Sex bias
• U.S. regional bias
• Linguistic demands
• Quality of stimuli,
• Stimulus satisfaction
• Task appropriateness
• Overall task
Standardization of the NAB
Standardization Sites
• Collection of the NAB standardization data started
in September of 2001 and concluded in October of
• NAB standardization data were collected at five
sites that were selected to provide representation
in each of the four geographic regions of the U.S.
• Four of the sites were located at academic
institutions with known expertise in
neuropsychology; the publisher’s offices in
Florida served as the fifth site.
NAB Normative Samples
The total NAB standardization sample
consisted of 1,448 healthy, community
dwelling participants, which formed the
basis of the following normative samples:
• Demographically corrected norms
(N = 1,448)
• Age-based, U.S. Census-matched norms
(N = 950)
Age-based, U.S. Census-matched
• The Age-based, U.S. Census-matched sample
(N = 950) was abstracted from the total
standardization sample.
• Closely matches the characteristics of the current
U.S. population with respect to education, sex,
race/ethnicity, and geographic region.
• Purpose: For making inferences regarding the
adequacy of the tested ability in more absolute
terms, i.e., compared to the population as a whole.
Demographically Corrected Norms
• Consists of 1,448 healthy, community-dwelling
individuals ranging in age from 18 to 97 years. Of
these 1,448 participants, 711 received Form 1 and
737 received Form 2 as part of the standardization
study; no participant completed both NAB forms.
• Purpose: For diagnostic inferences and for
interpreting brain-behavior relationships, i.e.,
compared to age-, education-, and gender-matched
Demographically Corrected Norms
• For inferring brain-behavior relationships, it has been well
established in the neuropsychological literature that
demographically corrected norms are the most appropriate
normative standard (Heaton et al., 1993; Heaton et al., 1991;
Lezak, 1995; Mitrushina et al., 1998; Spreen & Strauss,
• The research literature has clearly established that
performance on a neuropsychological test can be
significantly impacted by an individual’s age, educational
attainment, and sex, irrespective of potential brain
• Thus, interpretation of brain-behavior relationships should
be based on normative data either categorized according to
different groupings of these demographic variables, or
“corrected for” the effect of these variables.
Demographically Corrected Norms
• The demographically corrected norms are
recommended for most situations encountered in
clinical practice and, thus, they are the primary
normative standard for the NAB.
• All normed scores presented in the psychometric
analyses and tables in the NAB manuals are based
on the demographically corrected norms.
Development of Norms
• Selection of normative scores
• Equating of Forms 1 and 2 using equipercentile
equating methods
• Verify the accuracy of the equating process
• Conversion of raw scores to z scores
• Examination of the effects of age, education, and
• Continuous norming to create norm tables
• Verify the accuracy of the demographic correction
• Calculate composite Index scores
Selection of Normative Scores
• The NAB consists of 33 individual tests, most of
which provide at least several indicators of
quantitative and qualitative performance.
• Prior to beginning the norming process, all
potential NAB scores were categorized into one of
three types of scores: primary, secondary, or
• Several sources of information were used to
categorize scores, including their (a) reliability, (b)
presumed interpretive importance, and (c) content
and construct validity.
Types of Normative Scores
Normative Metric
T scores
(M = 50, SD = 10)
Percentiles by age groups
Cumulative percentages
for overall sample
Equating of Forms 1 and 2
• Test equating refers to a family of statistical
concepts and procedures that have been developed
to adjust for differences in difficulty level on
alternate test forms, thus allowing the forms to be
used interchangeably.
• Test equating adjusts for differences in difficulty
between the two forms of a test, not for
differences in content (Kolen & Brennen, 1995).
Equating of Forms 1 and 2
• The equipercentile equating method was selected
for use with the NAB because it is thought to have
greater generalizability and applicability than
mean and linear equating when test scores may
deviate from a perfectly normal distribution
(Kolen & Brennen, 1995), which is the case with
many NAB scores.
• Note that only NAB primary scores are equated.
Secondary and descriptive scores are not equated
by form; therefore, normative data for these scores
are provided separately by form.
Influence of Demographic Variables
• Regression techniques were used to evaluate the potential
effects of age, education, and sex on NAB raw scores.
• Age, education, and sex were entered into separate
regression equations as predictors, and the NAB primary z
score was the dependent variable. The percentage variance
in z scores (as reflected by the R2 value) accounted for by
each demographic variable was recorded.
• Next, the three demographic variables were entered into a
stepwise regression equation to determine the impact on z
scores of the demographic variables taken as a group.
Continuous Norming
• The method of continuous norming (Gorsuch, 1983b) was used
to derive both the NAB demographically corrected norms and
the age-based, U.S. Census-matched norms.
• Continuous norming corrects for irregularities in (a) the
distributions of scores within groupings of the norming variable
and (b) trends in the means and standard deviations across
groupings when group sample sizes are 200 or smaller (Angoff
& Robertson, 1987).
• Continuous norms provide a more accurate estimation of
population parameters such as means and standard deviations
because they are based on an equation that results from using all
demographic groups, rather than only the one group for a
particular table (Zachary & Gorsuch, 1985).
Calculation of Index Scores
• For each participant in the norm sample, the actual T
scores on the tests that comprise the composite score were
summed, and the cumulative frequency distribution of this
new score was calculated.
• The Module Indexes were scaled by converting the
cumulative frequency distribution of the summed scores to
a normalized standard score scale with a mean of 100 and a
standard deviation of 15.
• The Total NAB Index was calculated as the sum of the five
Module Indexes, which results in each module contributing
equally to the Total NAB Index, regardless of the number
of tests that comprise individual Module Indexes.
Composite Scores
(M =100, SD = 15)
Main Modules
Screening Module
• Attention Index
• Screening Attention Domain
• Language Index
• Screening Language Domain
• Memory Index
• Screening Memory Domian
• Spatial Index
• Screening Spatial Domain
• Executive Functions Index • Screening Executive Functions
• Total Screening Index
• Total NAB Index
Reliability and Score Differences
Interrater Reliability
• The consistency of agreement of test scores from rater to
rater is also an important indication of a test’s reliability.
This is especially the case for those subtests that require
scorer judgment and decision-making.
• The interrater reliability for the NAB was examined for the
following subtests: Writing, Story Learning, Figure
Drawing, Judgment, and Categories
• Thirty Form 1 and 30 Form 2 standardization protocols
were randomly selected and independently scored by
experienced standardization examiners.
• For the remaining tests, one-way single-measure intraclass
correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated
Equivalent Forms Reliability
• The equivalent forms reliability of the NAB was evaluated
by applying generalizability theory (Brennan, 2001;
Cronbach, Gleser, Nanda, & Rajaratnam, 1972; Shavelson
& Webb, 1991).
• In contrast to classical psychometric theory that posits true
scores and a unitary or undifferentiated source of error, the
application of generalizability theory allows the
partitioning of various sources of variance using the
familiar analysis of variance design.
• Generalizability coefficients are considered analogues to
traditional reliability estimates.
• However, in contrast to the magnitude of traditional
reliability estimates, generalizability coefficients of .60 or
higher should be regarded as demonstrating very good
reliability (Cicchetti & Sparrow, 1981; Mitchell, 1979).
Equivalent Forms Reliability
• Results showed good to excellent
generalizability coefficients for most NAB
primary scores.
• The average percentage variance
attributable to Form was 2.1%
(Median = 0.4).
• After the forms were equated, the average
percentage residual variance attributable to
form was 0.2% (Median = 0.0).
Reliability of Composite Scores
• Given that the alpha coefficient is an inappropriate
estimate for many NAB scores, G coefficients
were uniformly used as reliability estimates for the
purpose of calculating the reliability estimates of
Screening Domains, Total Screening Index,
Module Index scores, and Total NAB Index
• The reliability coefficients for all composite scores
were calculated with the formula recommended by
Guilford (1954) and Nunnally (1978).
Standard Errors of Measurement and
Confidence Intervals
• Standard errors of measurement are provided for
all NAB primary test scores and composite
Domain and Index scores using the following
SEM = SD * SQRT(1-rxx)
• The SEM provides an estimate of the amount of
error in an individual’s observed test score.
• In this formula, SD is the standard deviation of the
scores normative metric (i.e, 10 or 15)
• 90% and 95% confidence intervals were
developed for all NAB composite Domain and
Index scores
Score Differences
• An important consideration in interpreting the
performance of individual examinees is the
magnitude of difference between planned
comparisons of scores.
• The coordinated norming of the NAB allows users
to interpret score differences with two types of
– Statistical significance of score differences
– Base rate of score differences
Base Rate of Score Differences
• The base rate of score differences addresses the
actual occurrence rates, expressed as cumulative
percentages, of score discrepancies that are present
in the standardization sample.
• It is quite possible to obtain difference scores that
are statistically significant but that occur relatively
frequently in the norm sample.
• Base rates of score differences are provided for all
Screening Module composite score pairs, and for
all Main Module composite score pairs.
Validity of the NAB
Overview of Validity Studies
• Evidence based on theory and test content (i.e.,
content validity)
• Evidence based on internal structure
– Intercorrelations of test and Index scores
– Factor analyses (EFA and CFA)
– Relationship between Screening Domain and Module
Index scores
• Evidence based on relationships to external
• Evidence based on performance of clinical groups
Content Validity
• Reviews of the neuropsychological literature (e.g., Hebben
& Milberg, 2002; Lezak, 1995; Mapou & Spector, 1995;
Mitsrushina et al., 1998; Spreen & Strauss, 1998;
Williamson et al., 1996) have identified seven major
functional domains that are typically assessed:
Attention and information processing (including working memory)
Language and verbal communication
Spatial/perceptual skills
Learning and memory
Executive functions and problem-solving abilities
Sensorimotor functions
Personality, emotional, and adaptive functions.
Content Validity
• This conceptual framework has been confirmed
with factor analytic studies of various
neuropsychological batteries (Ardilla, Galeano, &
Rosselli, 1998; Larrabee & Curtiss, 1992;
Leonberger et al., 1992; Ponton, Gonzalez,
Hernandez, Herrera, & Higareda, 2000)
• This framework served as the underlying structure
of the NAB.
Content Validity
• As described previously, results of the publisher’s survey
of neuropsychological needs and practices guided the
content composition of the NAB.
• Those results provided strong support for organizing the
NAB into a Screening Module and five main modules
corresponding to functional domains: Attention Module,
Language Module, Memory Module, Spatial Module,
and Executive Functions Module.
• Survey respondents reported a strong preference to
continue using existing measures of sensorimotor
functions and personality/emotional functions; that is, the
preference was to not create new measures of these
functions for a newly developed battery.
Content Validity
• Content validity deals with the issue of how well a
group of items or tests is representative of the
previously defined domain or domains of interest
• Evidence of content validity is typically obtained
by having knowledgeable experts examine the test
material and make judgments about the
appropriateness of each item and/or test and the
overall content coverage of the domain.
• In addition, content validity is often evaluated by
examining the procedures and plans used in test
Content Validity
Content validity of the NAB was established through
a variety of methods, including:
• Reviewing the neuropsychological assessment
literature, including factor analytic work
• Survey of neuropsychologists
• Replicable development procedures for each NAB
• Extensive Advisory Council ratings and feedback
Content Validity
• The detailed procedures used to develop each
NAB test are beyond the scope of this
presentation. However, they are discussed at
length in Chapter 2 of the NAB Psychometric and
Technical Manual.
• The methods used to create the NAB tests provide
support for the content-related validity of each test
and for the modular structure of the NAB.
Internal Structure of the NAB
• Intercorrelations among NAB scores (see
• Exploratory factor analyses (EFA)
• Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA)
Exploratory Factor Analyses
• Separate EFAs were performed for the primary scores of
the Screening Module and the primary scores of the main
• The NAB standardization sample was used for the EFAs
• Factors were extracted using principal axis factoring
• Promax rotation of retained factors.
• For both EFAs, three- to six-factor solutions were
• All factor solutions were interpreted using traditional
methods (e.g., evaluation of scree plot and eigenvalues).
• The theoretical underpinnings of the NAB and the
meaningfulness of the constructs were interpreted
according to the recommendations of Gorsuch (1983a,
Summary of EFA Models
• These EFAs were conducted as a means of forming
additional hypotheses regarding the number and
composition of the latent factors that underlie the observed
NAB data.
• The obtained EFA models show a fair degree of
concordance with the conceptual model of
neuropsychological constructs that underlies the NAB.
• The hypotheses generated by the EFAs were evaluated in
the construct-testing process of the subsequent
confirmatory factor analyses (CFA).
• CFA is intended as a theory or construct evaluation
procedure (Stevens, 1996), and thus CFA results bear
directly on establishing the validity of the NAB Domain
and Index scores.
Confirmatory Factor Analyses
• CFAs were performed with the AMOS Version 4.0
structural equation modeling software program.
• The NAB standardization sample was again used for the
• A variety of fit statistics were evaluated.
• The Comparative Fit Index (CFI) and the root mean square
error of approximation (RMSEA) were given priority
because they provide more stable and accurate estimates
(Hu & Bentler, 1995).
• CFI values at or above .95 suggest good fit.
• RMSEA values at or below .06 suggest good fit.
Summary of CFA Results
• CFA of the Screening Module resulted in a five-factor
model that mirrors the five functional neuropsychological
domains purportedly measured by the Screening Domain
• CFA of the Main Modules resulted in a six-factor model
that mirrors the five functional domains purportedly
measured by the Module Index Scores, plus the presence
of an additional psychomotor speed factor that underlies
performance on several NAB tests.
• CFA results support the construct validity of the Screening
Domain and Module Index scores.
Validity Evidence Based on
Relationships to External Variables
Healthy Validity Study
• 50 Standardization subjects received a “gold
standard” battery of neuropsychological
tests within 10 days of their initial NAB
Clinical Validity Studies
(~200 Patients)
Mild TBI (Full Clinical Battery): n = 31
Dementia (MMSE, DRS-2): n = 20
MS: n = 31
ADHD: n = 30
HIV/AIDS: n = 19
Aphasia (BNT, Token Test): n = 31
Inpatient Rehab (FIM): n = 39
Convergent Validity
• Results of “Healthy Validity” study and Clinical
Group studies were used to examine the
convergent and divergent validity of individual
NAB scores and indexes.
• All validity coefficients are presented in the NAB
Psychometric and Technical Manual.
• The following selected data are illustrative of the
overall convergent validity findings.
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