Skip to main content Accessibility help

Factor Structure, Convergent Validity, and Discriminant Validity of the NIH Toolbox Cognitive Health Battery (NIHTB-CHB) in Adults

  • Dan Mungas (a1), Robert Heaton (a2), David Tulsky (a3), Philip David Zelazo (a4), Jerry Slotkin (a5), David Blitz (a5), Jin-Shei Lai (a5) and Richard Gershon (a5)...


The objective of this study is to evaluate the construct validity of the NIH Neurobehavioral Toolbox Cognitive Health Battery (NIHTB-CHB) in adults. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to evaluate the dimensional structure underlying the NIHTB-CHB and Gold Standard tests chosen to serve as concurrent validity criteria for the NIHTB-CHB. These results were used to evaluate the convergent and discriminant validity of the NIHTB-CHB in adults ranging from 20 to 85 years of age. Five dimensions were found to explain the correlations among NIHTB-CHB and Gold Standard tests: Vocabulary, Reading, Episodic Memory, Working Memory and Executive Function/Processing Speed. NIHTB-CHB measures and their Gold Standard analogues defined factors in a pattern that broadly supported the convergent and discriminant validity of the NIHTB-CHB tests. This 5-factor structure was found to be invariant across 20–60 year old (N=159) and 65–85 year old (N=109) age groups that were included in the current validity study. Second order Crystallized Abilities (Vocabulary and Reading) and Fluid Abilities (Episodic Memory, Working Memory, Executive/Speed) factors parsimoniously explained correlations among the five first order factors. These results suggest that the NIHTB-CHB will provide both fine-grained and broad characterization of cognition across the adult age span. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–9)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Dan Mungas, Department of Neurology, 4860 Y Street, Suite 3700, Sacramento, CA 95817. E-mail:


Hide All
Albinet, C.T., Boucard, G., Bouquet, C.A., & Audiffren, M. (2012). Processing speed and executive functions in cognitive aging: How to disentangle their mutual relationship? Brain and Cognition, 79(1), 111.
Benedict, R. (1997). Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.
Bentler, P.M. (1990). Comparative fit indices in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 238246.
Bentler, P.M. (1995). EQS structural equations program manual. Encino, CA: Multivariate Software.
Bowden, S.C. (2004). The role of factor analysis in construct validity: Is it a myth? Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 10(7), 10181019.
Bowden, S.C., Carstairs, J.R., & Shores, E.A. (1999). Confirmatory factor analysis of combined Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised and Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised scores in a healthy community sample. Psychological Assessment, 11(3), 339344.
Bowden, S.C., Cook, M.J., Bardenhagen, F.J., Shores, E.A., & Carstairs, J.R. (2004). Measurement invariance of core cognitive abilities in heterogeneous neurological and community samples. Intelligence, 32(4), 363389.
Browne, M., & Cudek, R. (1993). Alternate ways of assessing model fit. In K. Bollen & J. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equation models (pp. 136162). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Cheung, G.W., & Rensvold, R.B. (2002). Evaluating goodness-of-fit indexes for testing measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 9(2), 233255.
Crane, P.K., Narasimhalu, K., Gibbons, L.E., Pedraza, O., Mehta, K.M., Tang, Y., … Mungas, D.M. (2008). Composite scores for executive function items: Demographic heterogeneity and relationships with quantitative magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 14(5), 746759.
Delis, D.C., Jacobson, M., Bondi, M.W., Hamilton, J.M., & Salmon, D.P. (2003). The myth of testing construct validity using factor analysis or correlations with normal or mixed clinical populations: Lessons from memory assessment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 9, 936946.
Delis, D.C., Kramer, J.H., & Kaplan, E. (2001). The Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.
Dunn, L.M., & Dunn, D.M. (2007). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Fourth Edition (PPVT-4). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Services.
Gershon, R.C., Wagster, M.V., Hendrie, H.C., Fox, N.A., Cook, K.F., & Nowinski, C.J. (2013). NIH toolbox for assessment of neurological and behavioral function. Neurology, 80(11 Suppl 3), S2S6.
Gronwall, D.M. (1977). Paced auditory serial-addition task: A measure of recovery from concussion. Perceptual and motor skills, 44, 367373.
Heaton, R.K., Chelune, G.J., Talley, J.L., Kay, G.G., & Curtiss, G. (1993). Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Professional manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
Larrabee, G.J., Kane, R.L., & Schuck, J.R. (1983). Factor analysis of the WAIS and Wechsler Memory Scale: An analysis of the construct validity of the Wechsler Memory Scale. Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology, 5(2), 159168.
Miyake, A., Friedman, N.P., Emerson, M.J., Witzki, A.H., Howerter, A., & Wager, T.D. (2000). The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex "Frontal Lobe" tasks: A latent variable analysis. Cognitive Psychology, 41(1), 49100.
Mungas, D., Widaman, K., Zelazo, P.D., Tulsky, D., Heaton, R.K., Slotkin, J., … Gershon, R.C. (2013). NIH toolbox cognitive health battery (CB): Factor structure for 3- to 15 year olds. Monographs Society for Research on Child Development, 78(4), 103118. Chapter VII.
Mungas, D., Widaman, K.F., Reed, B.R., & Tomaszewski Farias, S. (2011). Measurement invariance of neuropsychological tests in diverse older persons. Neuropsychology, 25(2), 260269.
Muthén, L.K., & Muthén, B.O. (1998–2012). Mplus User’s Guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.
Rey, A. (1964). L’examen clinique en psychologie. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
Salthouse, T.A. (2005). Relations between cognitive abilities and measures of executive functioning. Neuropsychology, 19(4), 532545.
Smith, G.E., Ivnik, R.J., Malec, J.F., Kokmen, E., Tangalos, E.G., & Kurland, L.T. (1992). Mayo’s Older Americans Normative Studies (MOANS): Factor structure of a core battery. Psychological Assessment, 4(3), 382390.
Smith, G.E., Ivnik, R.J., Malec, J.F., & Tangalos, E.G. (1993). Factor structure of the Mayo Older Americans Normative Sample (MOANS) core battery: Replication in a clinical sample. Psychological Assessment, 5(1), 121124.
Steiger, J.H., Shapiro, A., & Browne, M.W. (1985). On the multivariate asymptotic distribution of sequential chi-square statistics. Psychometrika, 50, 253264.
Tucker, L.R., & Lewis, C. (1973). A reliability coefficient for maximum likelihood factor analysis. Psychometrika, 38, 110.
Tuokko, H.A., Chou, P.H., Bowden, S.C., Simard, M., Ska, B., & Crossley, M. (2009). Partial measurement equivalence of French and English versions of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging neuropsychological battery. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 15(3), 416425.
Wechsler, D. (2008). Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale IV. San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Assessment.
Wilkinson, G.S., & Robertson, G.J. (2006). WRAT 4: Wide range achievement test professional manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed