Investigating the Theoretical Structure of the Differential Ability Scales—Second Edition Through Hierarchical Exploratory Factor Analysis

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When the Differential Ability Scales–Second Edition (DAS-II) was developed, the instrument’s content, structure, and theoretical orientation were amended. Despite these changes, the Technical Handbook did not report results from exploratory factor analytic investigations, and confirmatory factor analyses were implemented using selected subtests across the normative age groups from the total battery. To address these omissions, the present study investigated the theoretical structure of the DAS-II using principal axis factoring followed by the Schmid–Leiman procedure with participants from the 5- to 8-year-old age range to determine the degree to which the DAS-II theoretical structure proposed in the Technical Handbook could be replicated. Unlike other age ranges investigated where at most 14 subtests were administered, the entire DAS-II battery was normed on participants aged 5 to 8 years, making it well suited to test the full instrument’s alignment with theory. Results suggested a six-factor solution that was essentially consistent with the Cattell–Horn–Carroll (CHC)-based theoretical structure suggested by the test publisher and simple structure was attained. The only exception involved two subtests (Picture Similarities and Early Number Concepts) that did not saliently load on a group factor. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.


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