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Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB): Introduction and Overview


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Title: Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB): Introduction and Overview

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 Health
  • 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

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
  • 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
Screening Language Domain Score
Screening Memory Domain Score
Screening Spatial Domain Score
Screening Executive Functions Domain Score
  • 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
  • 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 domain-specific Module when this type of
    non-battery focused assessment is clinically

  • 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 todays health
    care climate (Mode 3 to 4 hours 49 stated 4
    hours or less).
  • 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 performance
  • Comprehensive coverage of functional domains
  • Combined strengths of flexible and fixed battery
    approaches to assessment
  • Avoidance of floor and ceiling effects
  • Reduced administration time
  • Coordinated norming (entire NAB normed on a
    single standardization group)
  • Demographically corrected norms based on age,
    education level, and sex
  • Provision of equivalent/alternate form
  • Increased user-friendliness for both examiner and
  • 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
  • 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 patients
    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
  • 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
  • Constant background of tests
  • Focused, patient-centered examination
  • Shorter administration times afforded by the
    efficient screening/test selection
  • Minimal reliance on clinical decision-making in
    test selection.
  • Standardized administration and scoring
    procedures across all tests
  • 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
  • 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 in2.5 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,
    DElia, 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 sample.
  • 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
    examiners 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 individuals 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 (lt11 years, 12 years, 13-15 years,
    gt16 years)
  • 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 6-month 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 self-contained
    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, 1985)
  • Face validity refers to whether a test appears to
    measure what it purports to measure, as perceived
  • Examinees who take it
  • Administrative personnel who decide upon its use
  • Other technically untrained observers, such as
    the examinees 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 high-quality 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
  • NAB Psychometric and Technical Manual
  • NAB Demographically Corrected Norms Manual
  • 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
  • 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

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 Materials
  • 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 Materials
  • 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
  • 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

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
  • Verbal encodability
  • Clinical utility
  • Difficulty
  • Ecological validity
  • Education bias
  • Ethnic/racial/cultural bias
  • Sex bias
  • U.S. regional bias
  • Linguistic demands
  • Quality of stimuli, artwork
  • Stimulus satisfaction
  • Task appropriateness
  • Overall task satisfaction

Standardization of the NAB
Standardization Sites
  • Collection of the NAB standardization data
    started in September of 2001 and concluded in
    October of 2002.
  • 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 publishers 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
  • Demographically corrected norms (N 1,448)
  • Age-based, U.S. Census-matched norms (N 950)

Age-based, U.S. Census-matched Norms
  • 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
  • Purpose For making inferences regarding the
    adequacy of the tested ability in more absolute
    terms, i.e., compared to the population as a

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, 1998).
  • The research literature has clearly established
    that performance on a neuropsychological test can
    be significantly impacted by an individuals age,
    educational attainment, and sex, irrespective of
    potential brain dysfunction.
  • 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

Types of Normative Scores
Score Normative Metric
Primary T scores (M 50, SD 10)
Secondary Percentiles by age groups
Descriptive 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,

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,

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
  • 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
  • Attention Index
  • Language Index
  • Memory Index
  • Spatial Index
  • Executive Functions Index
  • Total NAB Index
  • Screening Module
  • Screening Attention Domain
  • Screening Language Domain
  • Screening Memory Domian
  • Screening Spatial Domain
  • Screening Executive Functions Domain
  • Total Screening 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 tests 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
  • 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

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,

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 scores.
  • The reliability coefficients for all composite
    scores were calculated with the formula
    recommended by Guilford (1954) and Nunnally

Standard Errors of Measurement and Confidence
  • Standard errors of measurement are provided for
    all NAB primary test scores and composite Domain
    and Index scores using the following formula
  • SEM SD SQRT(1-rxx)
  • The SEM provides an estimate of the amount of
    error in an individuals 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
    publishers 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
  • 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 construction.

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 Manual)
  • 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 modules.
  • The NAB standardization sample was used for the
  • Factors were extracted using principal axis
  • Promax rotation of retained factors.
  • For both EFAs, three- to six-factor solutions
    were examined.
  • 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, 1996)

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
  • 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 analyses.
  • 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 scores.
  • 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 examination.

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.