A Packed Paragraph

Dear Students,

In preparation for my afternoon class, I just finished reading a brief journal article entitled "Anxiety-Related Stroop Interference in Adolescents." This article was selected by one of the students enrolled in my afternoon seminar, and everyone's assignment (including mine) was to read the article so we could share our thoughts regarding the wise and not-so-wise decisions made by the research team as they designed their experiment.

While I was reading one of the article's paragraphs, I couldn't help but think of you and our discussion this morning of reliability and validity. Although this particular paragraph was lengthy, I'd to share it with you in its entirety. As you read it, see if some of the terms you come across match some of the material contained in Chapter 4. In particular, be on the lookout for these terms: "reliability," "internal consistency," "Cronbach's alpha," "valid," "concurrent validity," "convergent validity," "discriminant validity," and "two-factor structure" (which deals with construct validity, even though this kind of validity was not mentioned explicitly in the article).

OK. Here comes the paragraph (from the article selected by one of the students in my afternoon seminar) that made me think of you:

"The present investigation involved a card-based emotional Stoop paradigm to test for an anxiety-related interference effect in a sample of 16- to 18-year-old students. Anxiety was measured using Beck's Anxiety Inventory (BAI; Beck, Epstein, Brown, & Steer, 1988; Beck & Steer, 1990). This questionnaire was developed as a measure of adult anxiety and has a two-factor structure. These two factors are characterized by physical and cognitive symptoms. Creamer, Foran, and Bell (1995) argue that the BAI is superior to the Spielberger Stait-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg, & Jacobs, 1983) in differentiating anxiety from depression. Although the BAI was developed for use with an adult population, it has been used with younger populations. Steer, Kumar, Ranieri, and Beck (1995) administered the BAI to a group of 105 adolescent outpatients between 13 and 17 years of age. They argued that the BAI is a valid tool for investigating self-reported anxiety in outpatient adolescents. Jolly, Aruffo, Wherry, and Livingston (1993) examined the reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity of the BAI with a group of 180 adolescents. They found that the BAI was readable for a group of 14-year-old patients, and had high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha of .94), and high item-total correlations (M = .66). In addition to this, concurrent validity was demonstrated by the significant correlations between ratings by clinicians (r = +.4) and self-report (r = +.58) measures of anxiety. Jolly et al. used a clinical sample, whereas the present experiment examined nonclinical anxiety. However, Creamer (1995) examined the properties of the BAI in a nonclinical sample of 326 undergraduates. They found that the BAI demonstrated a high level of internal consistency, and they observed that the scale appeared to be measuring state anxiety rather than trait anxiety."

In case you'd like to read the entire article, here's the full reference: Richards, A, Richards, L. C., & McGeeney, A. (2000). Anxiety-related Stroop interference in adolescents. The Journal of General Psychology, 127(3), 327-333.

Sky Huck

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Schuyler W. Huck
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