Psychological Assessment

  • Elaborating on the construct validity of Triarchic Psychopathy Measure in Chinese clinical and nonclinical samples. 20161013
    The contemporary knowledge of the construct and operationalization of psychopathy in East Asian countries is still limited. The present paper examines the validity and applicability of the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM) based on the triarchic model of psychopathy in Chinese clinical and nonclinical samples. The results of Study 1 using a psychiatric patient sample (N = 193) showed that the pattern of associations between the TriPM scales (Boldness, Meanness, and Disinhibition) and the 3 factors (Egocentricity, Callous, and Antisocial) of the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale were similar to previous studies using English-speaking samples. Study 2 examined the construct validity of the TriPM with the inclusion of culturally adapted measures as external criteria in a university sample (N = 311). The TriPM Boldness scale was uniquely associated with fearlessness, whereas TriPM Disinhibition was associated with risky behaviors. TriPM Meanness significantly correlated with a Chinese interpersonal construct, Renqing, which is a social norm of interpersonal affect and relations. Cross-cultural implications for psychopathy are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Factor structure of the Emotions as a Child Scale in late adolescence and emerging adulthood. 20161031
    Although the Emotions as a Child Scale (EAC) has been widely used in research with children and adolescents, no peer-reviewed studies have examined its factor structure using factor analytic methods. Likewise, the measurement equivalence of the scale across gender and race/ethnicity has never been investigated. To address these gaps, this study examines the factor structure of the scale in late adolescence and emerging adulthood, compares it to previous theory-driven models, and evaluates its measurement invariance across gender and 2 racial/ethnic groups. Participants were 1,087 individuals participating in a larger community-based study of adolescent health (M = 19.35 years, SD = 1.19). Results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses suggest that a 2-factor model from a shortened version of the scale (3 items were eliminated from each emotion scale), involving supportive and unsupportive socialization strategies, is a good alternative model to the original 5-factor structure for researchers interested in broader conceptualization of emotion socialization strategies. This 2-factor model of the shortened scale showed stronger measurement invariance across gender than racial/ethnic groups. Future studies addressing racial/ethnic differences with this measure should compare the results with and without imposing corresponding invariance constraints on noninvariant items. Findings of this study should be replicated in other age and racial/ethnic groups, and examine the predictive utility of the abbreviated 2-factor model for emotion-related outcomes across development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Does reassessment of risk improve predictions? A framework and examination of the SAVRY and YLS/CMI. 20161107
    Although experts recommend regularly reassessing adolescents’ risk for violence, it is unclear whether reassessment improves predictions. Thus, in this prospective study, the authors tested 3 hypotheses as to why reassessment might improve predictions, namely the shelf-life, dynamic change, and familiarity hypotheses. Research assistants (RAs) rated youth on the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) and the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) every 3 months over a 1-year period, conducting 624 risk assessments with 156 youth on probation. The authors then examined charges for violence and any offense over a 2-year follow-up period, and youths’ self-reports of reoffending. Contrary to the shelf-life hypothesis, predictions did not decline or expire over time. Instead, time-dependent area under the curve scores remained consistent across the follow-up period. Contrary to the dynamic change hypothesis, changes in youth’s risk total scores, compared to what is average for that youth, did not predict changes in reoffending. Finally, contrary to the familiarity hypothesis, reassessments were no more predictive than initial assessments, despite RAs’ increased familiarity with youth. Before drawing conclusions, researchers should evaluate the extent to which youth receiving the usual probation services show meaningful short-term changes in risk and, if so, whether risk assessment tools are sensitive to these changes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Personality in general and clinical samples: Measurement invariance of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire. 20161031
    A growing body of research suggests that the same general dimensions can describe normal and pathological personality, but most of the supporting evidence is exploratory. We aim to determine in a confirmatory framework the extent to which responses on the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ) are identical across general and clinical samples. We tested the Dutch brief form of the MPQ (MPQ-BF-NL) for measurement invariance across a general population subsample (N = 365) and a clinical sample (N = 365), using Multiple Group Confirmatory Factor Analysis (MGCFA) and Multiple Group Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling (MGESEM). As an omnibus personality test, the MPQ-BF-NL revealed strict invariance, indicating absence of bias. Unidimensional per scale tests for measurement invariance revealed that 10% of items appeared to contain bias across samples. Item bias only affected the scale interpretation of Achievement, with individuals from the clinical sample more readily admitting to put high demands on themselves than individuals from the general sample, regardless of trait level. This formal test of equivalence provides strong evidence for the common structure of normal and pathological personality and lends further support to the clinical utility of the MPQ. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Using dynamic factor analysis to provide insights into data reliability in experience sampling studies. 20161107
    The past 2 decades have seen increasing use of experience sampling methods (ESMs) to gain insights into the daily experience of affective states (e.g., its variability, as well as antecedents and consequences of temporary shifts in affect). Much less attention has been given to methodological challenges, such as how to ensure reliability of test scores obtained using ESM. The present study demonstrates the use of dynamic factor analysis (DFA) to quantify reliability of test scores in ESM contexts, evaluates the potential impact of unreliable test scores, and seeks to identify characteristics of individuals that may account for their unreliable test scores. One hundred twenty-seven participants completed baseline measures (demographics and personality traits), followed by a 7-day ESM phase in which positive and negative state affect were measured up to 6 times per day. Analyses showed that although at the sample level, scores on these affect measures exhibited adequate levels of reliability, up to one third of participants failed to meet conventional standards of reliability. Where these low reliability estimates were not significantly associated with personality factors, they could—in some cases—be explained by model misspecification where a meaningful alternative structure was available. Despite these potential differences in factor structure across participants, subsequent modeling with and without these “unreliable” cases showed similar substantive results. Hence, the present findings suggest typical analyses based on ESM data may be robust to individual differences in data structure and/or quality. Ways to augment the DFA approach to better understand unreliable cases are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Ethnic identity: Factor structure and measurement invariance across ethnic groups. 20161128
    Considering a historically diversified (and growing) population in the United States, one’s ethnic identification is often an important psychological—as well as social and political—construct because it can serve as a hindrance to interpersonal interaction. Despite the importance of ethnic identity in psychological research, the most widely developed ethnic identity measurement tool, the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM; Phinney, 1992), lacks consensus regarding its psychometric properties. The purpose of this article is to identify the factor structure of this measure and identify whether it exhibits measurement equivalence/invariance (ME/I) across ethnicities. The current findings offer several contributions to the state of the literature. First, our data suggests a two-factor model, including affirmation/commitment and exploration factors, is the most appropriate structure when considering fit and parsimony indices via confirmatory factor analysis. Second, configural and metric measurement equivalence was found across Caucasian and non-Caucasian participants. Interestingly, partial scalar invariance was established when comparing Caucasians with the minority groups with the exception of the Hispanic subgroup, which exhibited no scalar invariance. Third, differences in ethnic identity factor means were found, especially across Caucasians and African Americans. In conclusion, the use of the two-factor model of the MEIM is recommended, and results suggest that the MEIM is an appropriate measure of ethnic identity in most ethnic groups. Limitations and future research are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Target-, informant-, and meta-perceptual ratings of maladaptive traits. 20161110
    Target–informant agreement about target personality traits can depend on the nature of the traits being considered, whether or not targets or informants are asked to take into account the other’s point of view, and the relationship between the informant and the target. This study sought to further explore these patterns by extending existing research in 3 ways in a sample of 335 targets and 548 informants. First, unlike previous research that has focused nearly exclusively on normal range traits with potentially limited clinical relevance or personality disorder categories with questionable validity, we assessed personality using a comprehensive model of maladaptive traits. Second, we gathered 4 sets of ratings: target self-ratings, informant ratings of targets, targets’ metaperceptions of how they believe targets would rate them, and informant metaperceptions of how they believe targets would rate themselves. Third, we compared the ratings of informants with different relationships to the targets, including fathers, mothers, siblings, friends, and romantic partners. Results suggest that the degree to which targets and informants agree differs depending on the trait being rated and whether targets or informants metaperceived their trait ratings, and that these differences are particularly apparent when examined within specific kinds of relationships. These results have implications for which informants clinicians might select in clinical personality assessment, as well as for future research on the multimethod assessment of maladaptive traits. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Evaluation of the Children’s Depression Inventory—Short Version (CDI–S). 20161205
    The Children’s Depression Inventory—Short Version (CDI–S), an abbreviated version of the widely used Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), has been regularly used in recent research. In comparison to the original CDI, the CDI–S has not been rigorously evaluated for its psychometrics. The present study examined the dimensionality, convergent and discriminant validity, and gender differences of the CDI–S in a school-based sample of 809 children 8–12 years of age. All children completed the CDI–S. One subsample additionally completed another measure of depression, 1 subsample completed a measure of anxiety, and 1 subsample completed the CDI–S at a second occasion, after 2 weeks. Information regarding parents’ education and household income were available for 476 children. We evaluated the dimensionality of the CDI–S in a series of exploratory factor analyses. Despite some evidence of multidimensionality, a bifactor model revealed that the variation of scores was primarily explained by variations of the general factor. Consequently, the CDI–S is most adequately interpreted as a univocal measure. The CDI–S showed high correlation to another measure of depression and a moderately high correlation to a measure of anxiety, with nonoverlapping confidence intervals. We also found that girls reported higher levels of depressive symptoms than did boys, and we found a negative correlation between depressive symptoms and socioeconomic factors for boys only. Future studies should preferably include a broader age range, to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the validity of the CDI–S. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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