Date of Award

Spring 2-2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Wayne Adams, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kathleen A. Gathercoal, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Richard Kolbell, Ph.D.


Mild-to-moderate brain-injured patients often report a variety of persisting neurocognitive deficits, including both verbal and visual/visuospatial memory dysfunction. To enhance the theoretical understanding of cognitive/intellectual and memory functions and appropriately apply such knowledge clinically, it is important to elucidate more fully the nature of these deficits. Historically, investigations of the construct validity of intellectual and memory tests have been characterized by inconsistency and controversy. Previous factor-analytic studies, especially those in which the subtests of the Wechsler Memory Scales have been evaluated, have provided discrepant results with regard to the identification of the critical factors underlying various neurocognitivc abilities. Such analyses often have been performed in exclusion of other independent memory tests and/or tests of related cognitive functions that might be expected to contribute to memory functioning. Frequently, neuropsychological performance is examined in patients with brain injuries of a diverse etiology and wide range of severity. This investigation is designed to evaluate intellectual and memory functioning in a more homogeneous clinical sample derived exclusively from 170 individual patients who have sustained mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injuries. ln addition to selected subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised and the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised, several independent measures of neuropsychological function were included in this factor-analytic study. Specifically, additional sensitive measures of attention/concentration, speed of information processing, visuospatial perception, construction, and memory were administered jointly. lntercorrelations among the measures were examined and a factor analysis completed to determine the nature of the underlying factor structure for this clinical sample. Measures of general intellectual abilities correlated highly with the performance of these patients on both verbal and visuospatial memory tests. This analysis revealed a four-factor model that includes(I) General lntellectual Ability, (II) Visual Memory, (III) Verbal Memory, and (IV) Attention/Concentration. These data may have important implications regarding the design of neuropsychological test batteries, the interpretation of the data derived from such batteries, and ultimately, the clinical recommendations made for patients based on the evaluative outcomes from these measures.

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