• Depressive symptoms, depletion or developmental change? Multidimensionality in the Geriatric Depression Scale according to contemporary interpretations of the disengagement theory of aging

      Adams, Kathryn Betts; Saltz, Constance Corley (2000)
      Lewinsohn et al. (1991) have noted that some symptoms of depression, such as lack of social interest and greater self-involvement, mirror normal attributes of older adults according to Disengagement Theory (Cumming & Henry, 1961), the early developmental theory of aging which stated that there is a mutual social and affective withdrawal between the older adult and his social environment. Socio-Emotional Selectivity Theory (Carstensen, 1992) and gerotranscendence (Tornstam, 1997) both also describe the narrowing of the older person's social world and decreasing investment in activities and social relationships. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS; Brink et al., 1982), a 30-item self-report scale, was developed specifically to screen older individuals for depressive symptoms. Six GDS items, comprising a "Withdrawal/Apathy/[Lack of] Vigor" (WAV) dimension appear to be descriptive of disengagement and may lead to over-identification depression in older adults. The GDS, demographic and health measures, and an index of changes in activity and interest level developed for this study were mailed to 990 members of a large Health Maintenance Organization 65 years of age or older. Respondents returned 327 completed surveys and 163 "Decline" postcards after one mailing. Key findings include that GDS WAV contributed disproportionately to identification of depression. Endorsement rates for the items in WAV were among the scale's highest, whereas those of the 14-item Dysphoria factor were among the lowest, suggesting that WAV items are less likely to be "pathological." WAV's correlation with age was significant; Dysphoria's was not. In a multiple regression on the 28-item disengagement score WAV was the strongest predictor after controlling for age, health and Dysphoria. Approximately one third of the full sample and 60% of those aged 75 and over were identified as having at least moderate disengagement without depression. Disengagement is akin to "depletion of normal aging" and relates to changes in physical health and functioning. Since the six WAV items appear congruent with disengagement or Socio-Emotional Selectivity, particularly in later old age, interpretation of the GDS in clinical or research settings may be improved by considering subscale scores, weighting the items, or figuring in age and health status of the respondent.
    • Investigating the clinical utility of the Draw-A-Person: Screening Procedure for Emotional Disturbance (DAP:SPED) projective test in assessment of high-risk youth. A measurement validation study

      Matto, Holly Christine; Munson, Carlton E. (2000)
      The usefulness of human figure drawings, as clinical assessment tools, has been of interest to clinicians and researchers for decades. Human figure drawings, when validated as psychometrically sound assessment tools, provide several measurement advantages. Such methods are less problematic with regard to bias or distortion as compared to self-report inventories, and are time-efficient. The non-verbal testing format is appropriate for children with less verbal ability and/or compromised reading comprehension, and can make for more facile assessment when working with resistant clients. The research objective of this study was to explore the validity of one specific human figure drawing instrument, the Draw-A-Person: Screening Procedure for Emotional Disturbance (DAP:SPED; Naglieri, McNeish, & Bardos, 1991), that has emerged from recent measurement advancements. The study examined whether the DAP:SPED was a significant predictor of emotional and behavioral functioning within a clinical sample of latency-aged children (6-12 years old) receiving counseling services at outpatient and residential treatment facilities in Maryland (N = 68). Child functioning constructs included: behavior, psychosocial adjustment, and self-esteem. Study results showed that the total DAP:SPED (man, woman, and self scores summed) was a significant predictor in explaining behavioral disturbance and two psychosocial adjustment domains, hostility and productivity, after statistically controlling for salient demographic variables. In addition, the DAP:SPED self drawing and woman drawing alone were significant predictors of behavior and self-esteem; the DAP:SPED man drawing alone was a significant predictor of productivity. This suggests that behavioral assessment may be expedited by administering just one drawing directive, the self or woman drawing, with minimal clinical information lost. Findings from this study lend preliminary support to the DAP:SPED's validity in providing social work practitioners and school counselors information about child functioning, that could be used in determining service decisions. Instrument administration can be easily integrated into a routine curriculum or daily schedule, taking less than ten minutes to score. One potential use would be to include the DAP:SPED as part of existing screening protocols, in an era where the risk and consequences of undetected dysfunction are grave. Continued DAP:SPED measurement validation studies, along these lines, are warranted.
    • Translation of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale: From English to American Sign Language

      Crowe, Teresa Victoria; Harrington, Donna (2000)
      In general, social science researchers agree that there is a need for culturally and linguistically appropriate instruments if findings are to reflect what they are intended to measure. This study examines if the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) can be translated into American Sign Language, yield an instrument with internal consistency of .80, and produce an instrument with one underlying construct as was originally designed. The was translated into American Sign Language using the backtranslation method and an expert panel of raters to examine conceptual equivalence. Once conceptual equivalence was agreed upon by the raters, the instrument was given to participants. There were 185 participants in this study, after those with missing data were excluded. Results suggested that the translated version yielded an internal consistency of .7838, which is comparable to other studies involving translated versions of the RSES. The principal components analysis revealed three underlying components, labeled competence, negative self-evaluation, and positive self-evaluation, that accounted for 55.58% of the variance in the set of components. This finding is inconsistent with other studies. Discussion of these findings suggests that translation error is unlikely given the protocol for the backtranslation. A more likely source for this finding may be that the construct of self-esteem in deaf individuals may be multi-dimensional. Further research is indicated to examine the concept of self-esteem in deaf persons.