Confirmatory factor analysis of the NEPSY: A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, Second Edition in a mixed clinical sample of children
The NEPSY: A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, Second Edition (NEPSY-II) is a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological measures purported to assess the neurocognitive functioning in children between the ages of 3 to 16 (Korkman, Kirk, & Kemp, 2007a). Specifically, the measure is intended to identify problems that underlie poor academic performance and disinhibited behaviors. The NEPSY-II and its predecessors were developed out of a growing need for systematic, comprehensive, and normative assessment tools to assess neurocognitive deficits in children. While this measure is commonly used among pediatric neuropsychologists to assess neurocognitive functioning, specific research on this measure is limited. In fact, fewer than five studies have been conducted examining the psychometric properties of the NEPSY-II and there have been no studies confirming the Korkman, Kirk, and Kemp, (2007b) theoretical model of neurocognitive functioning in children. A Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) is a critical step in providing empirical support for the Korkman et al. (2007b) theoretical position. The purpose of this study was to examine the underlying factor structure of the NEPSY-II in a mixed clinical sample of children. A CFA was used to determine if a modified-five factor theoretical model proposed by Korkman et al. (2007b) provides the best fit for the observed data. The data utilized in this study are archival and were collected from case studies submitted to fulfill requirements for the KIDS, Inc. School Neuropsychology Post-Graduate Certification Program. The results indicated that a modified-five factor theoretical model was an inadequate fit; a further modified-five factor model demonstrated a slightly more adequate fit. Interpretations of the finding were discussed with an emphasis on the complexity of neurocognitive constructs and the importance of using the NEPSY-II along with other clinical data to develop a diagnostic impression of a child. Future research on the NEPSY-II should include a replication of this study along with examining the author-proposed model in comparison with other neurocognitive models to determine which model fits best with the data.