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Psychological Assessment - Vol 29, Iss 2

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Psychological Assessment Psychological Assessment publishes mainly empirical articles concerning clinical assessment. Papers that fall within the domain of the journal include research on the development, validation, application, and evaluation of psychological assessment instruments. Diverse modalities (e.g., cognitive, physiologic, and motoric) and methods of assessment (e.g., questionnaires, interviews, natural environment and analog environment observation, self-monitoring, participant observation, physiological measurement, instrument-assisted and computer-assisted assessment) are within the domain of the journal, especially as they relate to clinical assessment. Also included are topics on clinical judgment and decision making (including diagnostic assessment), methods of measurement of treatment process and outcome, and dimensions of individual differences (e.g., race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, economic status) as they relate to clinical assessment.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • Momentary patterns of covariation between specific affects and interpersonal behavior: Linking relationship science and personality assessment.
    Relationships are among the most salient factors affecting happiness and wellbeing for individuals and families. Relationship science has identified the study of dyadic behavioral patterns between couple members during conflict as an important window in to relational functioning with both short-term and long-term consequences. Several methods have been developed for the momentary assessment of behavior during interpersonal transactions. Among these, the most popular is the Specific Affect Coding System (SPAFF), which organizes social behavior into a set of discrete behavioral constructs. This study examines the interpersonal meaning of the SPAFF codes through the lens of interpersonal theory, which uses the fundamental dimensions of Dominance and Affiliation to organize interpersonal behavior. A sample of 67 couples completed a conflict task, which was video recorded and coded using SPAFF and a method for rating momentary interpersonal behavior, the Continuous Assessment of Interpersonal Dynamics (CAID). Actor partner interdependence models in a multilevel structural equation modeling framework were used to study the covariation of SPAFF codes and CAID ratings. Results showed that a number of SPAFF codes had clear interpersonal signatures, but many did not. Additionally, actor and partner effects for the same codes were strongly consistent with interpersonal theory’s principle of complementarity. Thus, findings reveal points of convergence and divergence in the 2 systems and provide support for central tenets of interpersonal theory. Future directions based on these initial findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Trait and state variance in oppositional defiant disorder symptoms: A multi-source investigation with Spanish children.
    The objective was to determine and compare the trait and state components of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) symptom reports across multiple informants. Mothers, fathers, primary teachers, and secondary teachers rated the occurrence of the ODD symptoms in 810 Spanish children (55% boys) on 2 occasions (end first and second grades). Single source latent state-trait (LST) analyses revealed that ODD symptom ratings from all 4 sources showed more trait (M = 63%) than state residual (M = 37%) variance. A multiple source LST analysis revealed substantial convergent validity of mothers’ and fathers’ trait variance components (M = 68%) and modest convergent validity of state residual variance components (M = 35%). In contrast, primary and secondary teachers showed low convergent validity relative to mothers for trait variance (Ms = 31%, 32%, respectively) and essentially zero convergent validity relative to mothers for state residual variance (Ms = 1%, 3%, respectively). Although ODD symptom ratings reflected slightly more trait- than state-like constructs within each of the 4 sources separately across occasions, strong convergent validity for the trait variance only occurred within settings (i.e., mothers with fathers; primary with secondary teachers) with the convergent validity of the trait and state residual variance components being low to nonexistent across settings. These results suggest that ODD symptom reports are trait-like across time for individual sources with this trait variance, however, only having convergent validity within settings. Implications for assessment of ODD are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) processing speed scores as measures of noncredible responding: The third generation of embedded performance validity indicators.
    Research suggests that select processing speed measures can also serve as embedded validity indicators (EVIs). The present study examined the diagnostic utility of Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) subtests as EVIs in a mixed clinical sample of 205 patients medically referred for neuropsychological assessment (53.3% female, mean age = 45.1). Classification accuracy was calculated against 3 composite measures of performance validity as criterion variables. A PSI ≤79 produced a good combination of sensitivity (.23–.56) and specificity (.92–.98). A Coding scaled score ≤5 resulted in good specificity (.94–1.00), but low and variable sensitivity (.04–.28). A Symbol Search scaled score ≤6 achieved a good balance between sensitivity (.38–.64) and specificity (.88–.93). A Coding—Symbol Search scaled score difference ≥5 produced adequate specificity (.89–.91) but consistently low sensitivity (.08–.12). A 2-tailed cutoff on the Coding/Symbol Search raw score ratio (≤1.41 or ≥3.57) produced acceptable specificity (.87–.93), but low sensitivity (.15–.24). Failing ≥2 of these EVIs produced variable specificity (.81–.93) and sensitivity (.31–.59). Failing ≥3 of these EVIs stabilized specificity (.89–.94) at a small cost to sensitivity (.23–.53). Results suggest that processing speed based EVIs have the potential to provide a cost-effective and expedient method for evaluating the validity of cognitive data. Given their generally low and variable sensitivity, however, they should not be used in isolation to determine the credibility of a given response set. They also produced unacceptably high rates of false positive errors in patients with moderate-to-severe head injury. Combining evidence from multiple EVIs has the potential to improve overall classification accuracy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Psychometric properties of the Leiden Index of Depression Sensitivity (LEIDS).
    The Leiden Index of Depression Sensitivity (LEIDS; Van der Does, 2002a) is a self-report measure of cognitive reactivity (CR) to sad mood. The LEIDS and its revised version, LEIDS-R (Van der Does & Williams, 2003), reliably distinguish between depression-vulnerable and healthy populations. They also correlate with other markers of depression vulnerability, but little is known about the other psychometric properties. Our aim was to examine the factor structure and validity of the LEIDS-R. We used data from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA; N = 1,696) and a student sample (N = 811) for exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (EFA and CFA, respectively). CFA showed that model fit of the 6-factor structure was satisfactory in the NESDA sample, but some factors were highly correlated. After removing 4 poor items, EFA yielded an alternative 5-factor structure and could not replicate the original 6-factor model. Testing for measurement invariance across recruitment groups of NESDA showed support for strong invariance. Due to high interfactor correlations, a bifactor model with 1 general factor and 5 specific factors was fitted in 2 samples. This model supported use of a general factor, but high factor loadings in specific factors supported retaining a 5-subscale structure. Higher scores on the general factor were associated with a history of depression, especially in participants with a history of comorbid anxiety. We concluded that the LEIDS-R has good psychometric properties. A modified version, LEIDS-RR, comprised of 5 subscales and a total CR score, is recommended for future research. One of the subscales is suitable as a short form. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Factor structure and utility of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function—Preschool Version.
    Executive function (EF) is a domain general cognitive construct associated with a number of important developmental outcomes. The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function—Preschool version (BRIEF-P) is intended to assess 5 distinct components of EF in preschool age children. In this study, a series of factor analyses was conducted with teacher-reported EF of 2,367 preschool students to assess the structure of the BRIEF-P, and the predictive relations between the resulting factors and children’s academic abilities and behavioral self-regulation were assessed to test the construct and convergent validity of the BRIEF-P scores. Results yielded mixed findings concerning the structure of the BRIEF-P and validity of its resultant scores. Results of the factor analyses indicated that the items of the BRIEF-P did not map onto factors in the way that would be expected based on its item-to-subscale mapping. The best solutions were a 4-factor and a bifactor model. The 4-factor solution revealed substantial correlations between factors, and although the bifactor solution identified a General Self-Regulation factor that explained variance in responses across items, this general factor did not account for all of the overlap among specific factors. Analyses of the relations for the factors from the correlated-factors and the bifactor models indicated that the majority of the factors had limited convergent validity with academic ability or with a measure of behavior self-regulation. Overall, these findings call into question the validity of aspects of BRIEF-P. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A psychometric evaluation of the Dutch Short Health Anxiety Inventory in the general population.
    Distress or anxiety about health is known as health anxiety. One of the most widely used scales to measure health anxiety is the Short Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI; Salkovskis, Rimes, Warwick, & Clark, 2002). The current study contributes to both the applicability and understanding of the SHAI by making 5 interrelated methodological contributions: (a) developing a Dutch translation of the SHAI, (b) validating this translation in the Dutch general population, (c) comprehensively examining its factor structure, (d) examining predictive validity and test–retest reliability of test scores, and (e) testing measurement invariance across subsamples and over time and comparing SHAI scores in subsamples of healthy and ill individuals and males and females. Data were collected from 5,310 respondents in 2 consecutive waves with a 2-month time gap. The results revealed that the SHAI comprises 2 factors: Illness Likelihood (14 Items) and Negative Consequences of Illness (4 Items). Further empirical evidence for the measurement invariance of this factor structure across subsamples and over time was revealed, as well as predictive validity, internal consistency and test–retest reliability of test scores, thereby proving that it is a useful tool for measuring health anxiety in the general Dutch population. On the basis of our results, we recommend that the 14-item SHAI, that is, the Illness Likelihood subscale, be adopted to measure health anxiety in future studies. We suggest slight adaptations to some answer options and argue that the benefit of adding the Negative Consequences of Illness subscale is debatable. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The comparative capacity of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory–2 (MMPI–2) and MMPI–2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) validity scales to detect suspected malingering in a disability claimant sample.
    The current study expands on past research examining the comparative capacity of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory–2 (MMPI-2; Butcher et al., 2001) and MMPI–2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF; Ben-Porath & Tellegen, 2008/2011) overreporting validity scales to detect suspected malingering, as assessed by the Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test (M-FAST; Miller, 2001), in a sample of public insurance disability claimants (N = 742) who were considered to have potential incentives to malinger. Results provide support for the capacity of both the MMPI-2 and the MMPI-2-RF overreporting validity scales to predict suspected malingering of psychopathology. The MMPI-2-RF overreporting validity scales proved to be modestly better predictors of suspected psychopathology malingering—compared with the MMPI-2 overreporting scales—in dimensional predictive models and categorical classification accuracy analyses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Sluggish cognitive tempo and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) inattention in the home and school contexts: Parent and teacher invariance and cross-setting validity.
    This study examined whether sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) inattention (IN) symptoms demonstrated cross-setting invariance and unique associations with symptom and impairment dimensions across settings (i.e., home SCT and ADHD-IN uniquely predicting school symptom and impairment dimensions, and vice versa). Mothers, fathers, primary teachers, and secondary teachers rated SCT, ADHD-IN, ADHD-hyperactivity/impulsivity (HI), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), anxiety, depression, academic impairment, social impairment, and peer rejection dimensions for 585 Spanish 3rd-grade children (53% boys). Within-setting (i.e., mothers, fathers; primary, secondary teachers) and cross-settings (i.e., home, school) invariance was found for both SCT and ADHD-IN. From home to school, higher levels of home SCT predicted lower levels of school ADHD-HI and higher levels of school academic impairment after controlling for home ADHD-IN, whereas higher levels of home ADHD-IN predicted higher levels of school ADHD-HI, ODD, anxiety, depression, academic impairment, and peer rejection after controlling for home SCT. From school to home, higher levels of school SCT predicted lower levels of home ADHD-HI and ODD and higher levels of home anxiety, depression, academic impairment, and social impairment after controlling for school ADHD-IN, whereas higher levels of school ADHD-IN predicted higher levels of home ADHD-HI, ODD, and academic impairment after controlling for school SCT. Although SCT at home and school was able to uniquely predict symptom and impairment dimensions in the other setting, SCT at school was a better predictor than ADHD-IN at school of psychopathology and impairment at home. Findings provide additional support for SCT’s validity relative to ADHD-IN. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Development and validation of empirically derived frequency criteria for NSSI disorder using exploratory data mining.
    Research suggesting nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) may belong in a distinct diagnostic category has led to the inclusion of NSSI disorder in the DSM–5 section for future study. There has been limited research, however, examining the validity of Criterion A (the frequency criterion). The current study aimed to examine the validity of the frequency criterion of NSSI disorder through the use of an exploratory data mining method, structural equation modeling trees, as a way to determine a NSSI frequency that optimally discriminates pathological NSSI from normative behavior among undergraduate students (n = 3,559), 428 who engaged in NSSI in the previous year. The model included psychopathology symptomology found to be comorbid with NSSI and cognitive-affective deficits commonly associated with NSSI. Results demonstrated a first split between individuals with 0 and 1 act of NSSI in the past year, as was expected. Among individuals with 1 or more previous acts, the optimal split was between those with 5 and 6 NSSI acts in the past year. Results from the current study suggest that individuals with 6 acts of NSSI in past year, compared with those with 5 acts or less, may represent a more severe group of self-injurers. These individuals reported higher levels of related psychopathology symptomology and cognitive-affective deficits, in addition to decreased quality of life. Findings have potential implications for the proposed frequency criteria of NSSI disorder and how pathological NSSI is characterized. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The influence of different criteria for establishing optimal cutoff scores on performance of two self-report measures for warzone PTSD.
    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been regarded as a signature injury of war and elevated to one of the major behavioral health problems faced by military service members and veterans deployed to warzones. In PTSD diagnosis, self-report measures have often been used with a cutoff score to identify those with an elevated likelihood of having PTSD prior to conducting a second-tier diagnostic interview. With an attempt to guide the selection of cutoffs in self-report PTSD measures for various purposes, this study examined how five common criteria for establishing an optimal cutoff influenced the performance of self-report measures for warzone PTSD in relation to the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM–5) and whether the influence differed for the PTSD Checklist for DSM–5 and the Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD. Using a probability sample of Vietnam theater veterans in the National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study, results showed that in both self-report measures, the Youden Index criterion yielded the optimal cutoff that led to better test performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Examining the reliability and validity of an abbreviated Psychopathic Personality Inventory—Revised (PPI-R) in four samples.
    A recently developed 40-item short-form of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory—Revised (PPI-R; Lilienfeld & Widows, 2005) has shown considerable promise as an alternative to the long-form of the instrument (Eisenbarth, Lilienfeld, & Yarkoni, 2015). Beyond the initial construction of the short-form, however, Eisenbarth et al. only evaluated a small number of external correlates in a German college student sample. In this study, we evaluate the internal consistency of the short-form scales in 4 samples previously administered the full PPI-R (3 U.S. college student samples and 1 U.S. forensic psychiatric inpatient sample) and examine a wide range of external correlates to compare the nomological nets of the short- and long-forms. Across all 4 samples, correlations between each short-form scale and its corresponding long-form scale were uniformly high (all rs > .75). In terms of external correlates, the pattern of associations was exceedingly similar, for the short-form and long-form composites with a largely trivial reduction in effect size. Collectively, our findings offer considerable support for the utility of this new short-form as a substitute for the full PPI-R. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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