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Title page for ETD etd-06272011-144434


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Athay, Mary Michele
Author's Email Address Michele.Athay@Vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-06272011-144434
Title The satisfaction with life scale in caregivers of clinically-referred youth: psychometric evaluation and longitudinal application
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Leonard Bickman Committee Chair
James H. Steiger Committee Member
Sun-Joo Cho Committee Member
Thomas M. Smith Committee Member
Keywords
  • differntial item functioning
  • HLM
  • clinically-referred youth
  • caregivers
  • Satisfaction with Life Scale
Date of Defense 2011-06-03
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Study 1 evaluated the psychometric properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) in caregivers of clinically-referred youth (n = 610). Methods from classical test theory, item response theory, and confirmatory factor analysis were used to evaluate scale properties. Additionally, techniques for detecting differential item functioning (DIF) were used to detect item bias. Results indicate that the SWLS has adequate internal consistency and item-total correlation coefficients. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed a one-factor model consistent with theory. Exploration of differential item functioning detected no significant item bias. The results suggest, overall, the SWLS is a psychometrically sound instrument for use with caregivers of clinically referred youth.

Study 2 utilized the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) to investigate the life satisfaction (SWL) of caregivers for clinically-referred youth (n=383). Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to estimate the linear trajectory of caregiver SWL and its relation to youth symptom severity as rated by caregivers, youth, and clinicians. Results show a significant inverse relationship between initial SWL and youth symptom severity, when caregiver or clinician rates symptom severity. More importantly, subsequent SWL inversely related to changes in youth symptom severity during treatment. These results demonstrate how understanding SWL in this population can aid clinical professionals in caring for the caregivers.

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