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Does cognitive ability influence responses to the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale?

Does cognitive ability influence responses to the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale?
Does cognitive ability influence responses to the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale?
It has been suggested that how individuals respond to self-report items relies on cognitive processing. We hypothesized that an individual's level of cognitive ability may influence these processes such that, if there is a hierarchy of items within a particular questionnaire, as demonstrated by Mokken scaling, the strength of that hierarchy will vary according to cognitive ability. Using data on 8,643 men and women from the National Child Development Survey (1958 birth cohort; Power, & Elliott, 2006), we investigated, using Mokken scaling, whether the 14 items that make up the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (Tennant et al., 2007)-completed when the participants were 50 years of age-form a hierarchy and whether that hierarchy varied according to cognitive ability at age 11 years. Among the sample as a whole, we found a moderately strong unidimensional hierarchy of items (Loevinger's coefficient [H] = 0.48). We split participants into 3 groups according to cognitive ability and analyzed the Mokken scaling properties of each group. Only the medium and high cognitive ability groups had acceptable (?0.3) invariant item ordering (assessed using the HT statistic). This pattern was also found when the 3 cognitive ability groups were assessed within men and women separately. Greater attention should be paid to the content validity of questionnaires to ensure they are applicable across the spectrum of mental ability.
mokken scaling, hierarchical scales, item response theory, cognitive ability, mental wellbeing
1040-3590
313-318
Deary, Ian J.
027158ae-fbfb-40ea-98b1-32d2690499ac
Watson, Richard A.
fcb0596f-102c-4a0c-9e72-5de388ba4127
Booth, Tom
eb2e6410-82be-4067-b6ee-231ff36ebd06
Gale, Catharine R.
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8
Deary, Ian J.
027158ae-fbfb-40ea-98b1-32d2690499ac
Watson, Richard A.
fcb0596f-102c-4a0c-9e72-5de388ba4127
Booth, Tom
eb2e6410-82be-4067-b6ee-231ff36ebd06
Gale, Catharine R.
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8

Deary, Ian J., Watson, Richard A., Booth, Tom and Gale, Catharine R. (2013) Does cognitive ability influence responses to the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale? Psychological Assessment, 25 (2), 313-318. (doi:10.1037/a0030834). (PMID:23230851)

Record type: Article

Abstract

It has been suggested that how individuals respond to self-report items relies on cognitive processing. We hypothesized that an individual's level of cognitive ability may influence these processes such that, if there is a hierarchy of items within a particular questionnaire, as demonstrated by Mokken scaling, the strength of that hierarchy will vary according to cognitive ability. Using data on 8,643 men and women from the National Child Development Survey (1958 birth cohort; Power, & Elliott, 2006), we investigated, using Mokken scaling, whether the 14 items that make up the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (Tennant et al., 2007)-completed when the participants were 50 years of age-form a hierarchy and whether that hierarchy varied according to cognitive ability at age 11 years. Among the sample as a whole, we found a moderately strong unidimensional hierarchy of items (Loevinger's coefficient [H] = 0.48). We split participants into 3 groups according to cognitive ability and analyzed the Mokken scaling properties of each group. Only the medium and high cognitive ability groups had acceptable (?0.3) invariant item ordering (assessed using the HT statistic). This pattern was also found when the 3 cognitive ability groups were assessed within men and women separately. Greater attention should be paid to the content validity of questionnaires to ensure they are applicable across the spectrum of mental ability.

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Published date: 1 June 2013
Keywords: mokken scaling, hierarchical scales, item response theory, cognitive ability, mental wellbeing
Organisations: Human Development & Health

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 355150
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355150
ISSN: 1040-3590
PURE UUID: 0cbe80a9-53c3-495f-92e2-21a382646ee2
ORCID for Catharine R. Gale: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3361-8638

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Date deposited: 09 Aug 2013 11:12
Last modified: 28 Oct 2023 01:39

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Contributors

Author: Ian J. Deary
Author: Richard A. Watson
Author: Tom Booth

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