Gender Matters in Neuropsychological Assessment of Child and Adolescent Writing Skill

  • Daniel B. HajovskyEmail author
  • Christopher R. Niileksela
  • Ethan F. Villeneuve
  • Matthew R. Reynolds


Gender differences in Cattell-Horn-Carroll cognitive explanatory variables of basic writing skills and written expression in children and adolescents in grades 1–12 were explored using multiple-group structural equation modeling with the standardization samples for the Woodcock Johnson IV (N = 3569). Results showed small female advantages in cognitive processing speed and written expression across grade levels. Crystallized ability, fluid reasoning, short-term working memory, processing speed, and auditory processing were significant predictors of basic writing skills with learning efficiency showing stronger effects on basic writing skills for males compared to females in grades 9–12. Additionally, fluid reasoning, short-term working memory, processing speed, learning efficiency, and visual processing were significant predictors of written expression. Processing speed had stronger effects on written expression for males compared to females in grades 9–12, whereas auditory processing had stronger effects on written expression for females compared to males in grades 9–12. Theoretical and practical implications of findings are discussed.


Writing achievement Gender differences Multiple group structural equation models CHC abilities Woodcock Johnson tests 



This study was supported by Texas Woman’s University Woodcock Institute Research Grant.


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Copyright information

© American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Counseling and Psychology in Education, School of Education Research CenterUniversity of South DakotaVermillionUSA
  2. 2.University of KansasLawrenceUSA
  3. 3.Fairfax County Public SchoolsFalls ChurchUSA

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