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ERIC Number: EJ842445
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1040-3590
Do Balanced Scales Assess Bipolar Constructs? The Case of the STAI Scales
Vautier, Stephane; Pohl, Steffi
Psychological Assessment, v21 n2 p187-193 Jun 2009
Balanced scales, that is, scales based on items whose content is either negatively or positively polarized, are often used in the hope of measuring a bipolar construct. Research has shown that usually balanced scales do not yield 1-dimensional measurements. This threatens their construct validity. The authors show how to test bipolarity while accounting for method effects. This is demonstrated on a data set of state and trait anxiety measured with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; C. D. Spielberger, R. L. Gorsuch, R. Lushene, P. R. Vagg, & G. A. Jacobs, 1983) scales. Taking a test-retest perspective, assuming temporally stable method effects, the authors tested the bipolarity of the temporal change through suitable constraints specified in a structural equation model adapted from S. Vautier, R. Steyer, and A. Boomsma (2008). The model fit the data closely, [chi][superscript 2](13, N = 888) = 20.75, p = 0.07. Thus, the state and trait scales seem to measure bipolar constructs plus temporally stable method effects. Parameter estimates suggest reliable change scores for the state anxiety scale (p = 0.90) and specific method effects for the state and trait scales of the STAI. (Contains 4 footnotes, 1 table and 1 figure.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: State Trait Anxiety Inventory