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SCL-9-NR: a brief test for measurement of psychological distress

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Serhii Dembitskyi
added a research item
Рассмотрена история становления социологии психологического дистресса путем рассмотрения положений главных работ основоположника соответствующей отрасли исследований Л. Перлина, а также современных исследований, представленных в журналах “Society and Mental Health” и “Journal of Health and Social Behavior”. Проанализированы главные концептуальные составляющие процесса социального дистресса: стрессоры, медиативные ресурсы, проявления дистресса. Предложена авторская схема процесса стресса, сфокусированная на итеративности различных составляющих и важности роли физического здоровья индивида. Papers describes the history of the formation of psychological distress sociology by the means of examining fundamental works of the psychological distress sociology founder – L. Pearlin, and modern researches presented in magazines, “Society and Mental Health” and “Journal of Health and Social Behavior”. L. Pearlin refers to the process of stress, consisting of stress sources (stressful events, chronic life difficulties and self-image), indirect resources (social support and combating stress practices), as well as stress outpouring. Special attention was paid to the relationship of stress and the life course of the individual. Analysis of contemporary sources allows to draw three conclusions. First, most studies focused on psychological distress are quantitative in nature, using cross-sectional or longitudinal design. Second, the model of all empirical studies, in fact, is the same: psychological distress is a dependent variable, and various social factors – are independent ones. Third, research clearly demonstrates the measurement scales that are trusted at the present stage of scientific research (CES-D, K6, BSI-18). Author analyzed revised scheme of social stress proposed by C. Aneshensel and U. Mitchell (clarification are regarding the introduction to it of the indirect processes). The conclusion is made about the artificiality of linear logic type “stressor X in the life course of Y that leads to a stress response Z,” which is used in this and in similar schemes. Author suggests his own scheme of the stress process that is focused on the iteratively of various components and the importance of role of individual’s physical health. It is argued that conventional stressors, social interaction, personal characteristics (facilities, knowledge, behavior) and stress reactions are so closely interrelated that their separation from each other, when it comes to data of questionnaires, seems to be an impossible task. Therefore, the stress response (primarily psychological) is not the result of a cause-and-effect relationship, but is one of the important indicators of individual well-being, which characterizes respondent’s the richness of life.
Serhii Dembitskyi
added a research item
В статье представлены результаты критериальной валидизации социологического теста SCL-9-NR. Основной эмпирической базой исследования является опрос пациентов КЛПУ “Черниговская областная психоневрологическая больница”, позволивший охватить разнообразные, с точки зрения психиатрии, группы. Также в рамках статьи оценено влияние на итоговые значения SCL-9-NR эффекта социальной желательности и выделены пороговые величины индекса, указывающие на наличие выраженного психологического дистресса. В завершающей части статьи приведены результаты конфирматорного факторного анализа и проверки внутренней согласованности для респондентов с психиатрическими диагнозами. В качестве основного статистического инструментария использованы корреляционный анализ (коэффициент ранговой корреляции Спирмена), дву- и однофакторный ковариационный анализ и сравнение средних (t-критерий Стьюдента). Результаты статьи говорят в пользу критериальной валидности SCL-9-NR.
Serhii Dembitskyi
added 2 research items
Main results of SCL-9-NR validation: 1) SCL-90-R and its shorter versions 2) Some problems of SCL-90-R and its shorter versions 3) Items selection 4) Changing of task formulation and response scale 5) Online pilot surveys: Kiev and Lvov (2015) 6) Old and new 9-items versions in the national surveys: 1999 vs 2016 7) Validation national surveys: construct validity 8) Validation surveys: descriptive statistics + criterion validity 9) Validation surveys: factor validity 10) Reliability 11) Main rival: SCL-9-NR vs K10
SCL-90-R is a widely used test of psychological distress that was developed by Leonard Derogatis more than 40 years ago. In accordance with its size (SCL-90-R has 90 items) this test badly fits survey research requirements. On the other hand, SCL-90-R provides good basis for developing shorter versions. This fact resulted in the development of BSI-53, SCL-27, BSI-18, SCL-14 and SCL-K-9. At the same time, in my opinion, the original test has shortcomings, which also exist in its shorter versions: task’s formulation in SCL-90-R leads to response biases when respondents tend to choose lower values on the 5-item scale. For the evaluation of this hypothesis a new brief variant was constructed based of the nationwide surveys of 1997, 1999 and 2014. I’ve called it SCL-9-NR. At first, one item was selected from each of the 9 sub-scales of the original test according to the strength of its correlation with sub-scales indices and the General Severity Index. Then the task’s formulation and response options of the new test were changed. After that two online surveys were conducted (one in Kiev and one in Lviv) in order to evaluate the validity and reliability of SCL-9-NR. During the analysis of the collected data, the scale reliability and factor validity were evaluated (Cronbach's alpha and the CFA), the structures of two validating surveys were compared (correlation analysis, chi-square test, Student’s t-test), normal distribution features of SCL-9-NR’s index were verified (graphical methods, Shapiro–Wilk test). Reliability and factor validity were evaluated separately for the respondents from Kiev and Lviv. In addition, the same calculations were done for different gender and age group sub-samples. In general, the results of statistical analysis confirm my hypothesis. Questions for further consideration, related to factors affecting SCL-9-NR results, include: 1) the sample’s composition (particularly its homogeneity/heterogeneity); 2) data collection method; 3) the questionnaire’s structure. Also it is important to include SCL-9-NR in the nationwide survey with the aim of convergent validity examination. If the new brief version fits the survey research requirements better than the original version, SCL-9-NR’s index will demonstrate higher strength of correlation with adjacent constructs.