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Attitudes towards Depression: Developing a Reliable and Valid Questionnaire

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Introduction

Quantitative Research Methods and Data Analysis (SS-2405L) UOB: 07027443 Attitudes towards Depression: Developing a Reliable and Valid Questionnaire Abstract: Presented are results of a study attempting to design a reliable and valid instrument measuring people's attitudes towards people suffering from depression. The study consisted with total of 40 participants: 19 of them were psychology students and 21 were non-psychology students. This study aimed to develop a reliable and valid Likert scale to test attitudes towards people afflicted by depression among students. The study also aimed to find out if there was any difference between psychology students' attitudes towards people who suffer depression and attitudes towards depression of non-psychology students. It is hypothesized that psychology students will show a positive attitude towards people suffering from depression (reflected in a high score) and non-psychology students will show a negative attitude towards people afflicted by depression (reflected in a low score). It was hypothesized that psychology students will show a positive attitude towards people suffering from depression (reflected in a high score) and non-psychology students will show a negative attitude towards people afflicted by depression (reflected in a low score) but the aim of this study was not met and the attempt to develop a reliable and valid questionnaire to test the difference in attitude towards depression between two groups: psychology students and non-psychology students failed. Implications for research and practice are discussed. Introduction: The purpose of this study was to design a reliable and valid Likert attitude scale. Likert, who was a sociologist at the University of Michigan (1946-1970) was concerned with measuring psychological attitudes, and wished to do this in a proper, "scientific" way. That is why he developed the Likert scale. According to Uebersax (2006) his scale enabled Likert to produce attitude measures that could be "reasonably interpreted on a proper metric scale (in the same sense that inches or degrees Celcius are considered as a true measurement scales)". ...read more.

Middle

By analyzing items and removing weak questions (items) Cronbach's ? was increased. Also the mean inter-rater items correlation was too low (r=0.05) and even after removing seven of questions (elements) it was still too low (r=0.16). Correlating inter-rater items was appropriate because the measure was a continuous one. Although, this report was expected to achieved correlations of 0.2-0.4. Table 1: Mean (�SD) scale scores for psychology and non- psychology students for both administrations of the questionnaire. Time 1 Time 2 Psychology students 62.61 (3.78) 55.10 (1.46) Non- psychology students 64.90 (1.85) 51.75 (1.63) As the table shows there was no difference between psychology students' attitudes towards depression and non-psychology students' attitudes towards depression. Both groups showed quite a negative attitude towards depression. The analysis of Pearson's correlation showed that the scale was not reliable over the time. (r (37) = -0.53, p<0.001) The scale was not valid as well. (t (37)=1.53, p>0.05) Those results show that the aim of this study was not met and the attempt to develop a reliable and valid questionnaire to test the difference in attitude towards depression between two groups: psychology students and non-psychology students failed. Discussion: This study did not prove the hypothesis stating that psychology students will show a positive attitude towards people suffering from depression (reflected in a high score) and non-psychology students will show a negative attitude towards people afflicted by depression (reflected in a low score). There was no significant difference between psychology student's responses and non-psychology student's responses. The attempt to create a reliable and valid questionnaire failed. The findings of this research raise the question whether the Likert Scale is a good instrument for measuring attitudes. According to Gal and his colleagues (1994) "Likert-type scales reveal little about the causes for answers and it appears they have limited usefulness". Helgeson (1993) points two major problems: "lack of conceptual clarity in defining attitudes and technical limitations of the instrument used to assess attitude'. ...read more.

Conclusion

1.103 1.368 .142 15 Item Variances 1.012 .576 1.341 .765 2.328 .069 15 Inter-Item Correlations .161 -.355 .802 1.157 -2.258 .048 15 Item-Total Statistics Scale Mean if Item Deleted Scale Variance if Item Deleted Corrected Item-Total Correlation Squared Multiple Correlation Cronbach's Alpha if Item Deleted T2item1 73.7692 47.551 -.030 .858 .551 T2item2 73.1026 41.831 .617 .756 .462 T2item3 74.0513 45.576 .120 .877 .523 T2item4 73.6154 44.611 .198 .702 .511 T2item5 73.6154 44.927 .167 .756 .516 T2item6 73.6923 43.008 .271 .819 .496 T2item7 73.0769 45.126 .247 .831 .507 T2item8 73.9744 42.605 .320 .863 .488 T2item9 73.8462 41.134 .445 .716 .467 T2item10 72.9487 45.313 .225 .774 .509 T2item13 73.9231 43.704 .234 .886 .504 T2item14 73.7692 44.287 .240 .829 .504 T2item17 73.2051 47.746 -.011 .687 .541 T2item18 73.2564 43.564 .294 .733 .496 T2item19 73.1538 46.818 .087 .770 .527 T2item20 73.1282 49.220 -.125 .764 .559 T2item31 74.0769 52.441 -.320 .791 .595 T2item32 73.4615 48.255 -.060 .857 .551 T2item37 73.1795 42.520 .308 .836 .490 T2item38 73.1795 43.572 .332 .885 .492 T2item39 74.0769 44.599 .129 .975 .524 T2item40 73.9744 45.026 .119 .975 .525 Appendix 7 - Table shows test - retest reliablity of the created scale Correlations TOTAL1 TOTAL2 TOTAL1 Pearson Correlation 1.000 -.525** Sig. (2-tailed) .001 N 38 37 TOTAL2 Pearson Correlation -.525** 1.000 Sig. (2-tailed) .001 N 37 39 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). Appendix 8 - Table shows difference in attitudes between psychology and non - psychology students (criterion - related validity Independent Samples Test Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Lower Upper TOTAL2 Equal variances assumed .006 .939 1.528 37 .135 3.35526 2.19537 -1.09297 7.80350 Equal variances not assumed 1.534 36.743 .134 3.35526 2.18753 -1.07813 7.78866 Independent Samples Test t-test for Equality of Means Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Lower Upper 3.35526 2.19537 -1.09297 7.80350 3.35526 2.18753 -1.07813 7.78866 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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