Academic journal article Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development

Test Score Stability and Construct Validity of the Adult Manifest Anxiety Scale-College Version Scores among College Students: A Brief Report

Academic journal article Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development

Test Score Stability and Construct Validity of the Adult Manifest Anxiety Scale-College Version Scores among College Students: A Brief Report

Article excerpt

The authors investigated the temporal stability and construct validity of the Adult Manifest Anxiety Scale-College Version (AMAS-C; C. R. Reynolds, B. O. Richmond, & P. A. Lowe, 2003b) scores. Results indicated that the AMAS-C scores had adequate to excellent test score stability, and evidence supported the construct validity of the AMAS-C test scores. Implications for counselors are discussed.

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Anxiety is a common mental health concern among students in collegiate settings (e.g., National Mental Health Association, 2002), and early detection of high levels of anxiety among the college student population is needed. Currently, there are few measures designed specifically to assess anxiety in the college student population (i.e., items selected based on college students' responses, scales developed based on factor analysis of college attendees' responses, and the availability of college student norms). Moreover, until recently, there was no known measure designed specifically to assess chronic, manifest anxiety in the college student population.

The Adult Manifest Anxiety Scale-College Version (AMAS-C; C. R. Reynolds, Richmond, & Lowe, 2003b) is a new 49-item, self-report, multidimensional measure used to assess chronic, manifest anxiety in the college student population. The AMAS-C consists of four anxiety subscales (i.e., Test Anxiety, Worry/Oversensitivity, Physiological Anxiety, and Social Concerns/Stress) and a Lie scale. The Lie scale provides a measure of ideal behavior and is a validity index on the AMAS-C. In addition to the four anxiety subscales and the Lie scale, the AMAS-C has a Total Anxiety scale. The Total Anxiety scale provides a global measure of chronic, manifest anxiety (C. R. Reynolds, Richmond, & Lowe, 2003d).

One of the earliest efforts to develop a measure of chronic, manifest anxiety dates back to the work of Janet Taylor in the 1950s (C. R. Reynolds & Richmond, 1985). Taylor (1951) was one of the first researchers in the field of anxiety to develop a narrow-band instrument to assess anxiety in adults. Her measure, Taylor's Manifest Anxiety Scale (MAS; Taylor, 1951), a scale consisting of items from the original Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (Hathaway & McKinley, 1943), provided a global measure of chronic, manifest anxiety. Chronic, manifest anxiety was "derived from a trait theory of general anxiety" (C. R. Reynolds, 1985, p. 402). According to trait theorists, trait anxiety is a relatively stable personality trait (C. R. Reynolds & Richmond, 1985). Barring any clinical interventions, individuals with high levels of trait anxiety are expected to exhibit high levels of anxiety during their childhood years and beyond. Although the level of trait anxiety may not change with age, researchers have speculated that the presentation of anxiety may vary somewhat across the life span (e.g., Beidel & Stanley, 1992; Lipzin, 1991); that is, the manifestations of anxiety may vary somewhat with age.

Five years after it was developed, Castaneda, McCandless, and Palermo (1956) revised the MAS so that the measure could be used with children. This modified version of the MAS became known as the Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (CMAS; Castaneda et al., 1956). Twenty-two years later, C. R. Reynolds and Richmond revised the CMAS. This revision was needed for a variety of reasons, including (a) lowering the reading level to make the measure less difficult for young children and children with disabilities to read, (b) reducing the amount of time to complete the instrument to improve the efficiency of the measure, and (c) modifying the item content of the measure so that developmental changes in anxiety symptoms during children's formative years could be assessed (see C. R. Reynolds & Richmond, 1978, 1985). The outcome of these substantial revisions resulted in the development and introduction of the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS; C. …

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