The joint WAIS-III and WMS-III factor structure: development and cross-validation of a six-factor model of cognitive functioning

Psychol Assess. 2003 Jun;15(2):149-62. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.15.2.149.


During the standardization of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (3rd ed.; WAIS-III) and the Wechsler Memory Scale (3rd ed.; WMS-III) the participants in the normative study completed both scales. This "co-norming" methodology set the stage for full integration of the 2 tests and the development of an expanded structure of cognitive functioning. Until now, however, the WAIS-III and WMS-III had not been examined together in a factor analytic study. This article presents a series of confirmatory factor analyses to determine the joint WAIS-III and WMS-III factor structure. Using a structural equation modeling approach, a 6-factor model that included verbal, perceptual, processing speed, working memory, auditory memory, and visual memory constructs provided the best model fit to the data. Allowing select subtests to load simultaneously on 2 factors improved model fit and indicated that some subtests are multifaceted. The results were then replicated in a large cross-validation sample (N = 858).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Wechsler Scales