Use of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory with Children and Adolescents in China: Issues with Reaction Times

By Cao, Yang; Liu, Zheng-Kui | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, March 15, 2015 | Go to article overview

Use of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory with Children and Adolescents in China: Issues with Reaction Times


Cao, Yang, Liu, Zheng-Kui, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


With China's rapid economic development and the increasing gap between its rich and poor, anxiety has become a major issue that threatens the mental health of Chinese citizens. As one of the measuring tools of anxiety, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Form Y; STAI-Y), developed by Spielberger and colleagues (Spielberger, 1966, 1972, 1976; Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg, & Jacobs, 1983), has been widely applied in research and clinical practice in countries around the world. The scale is used to measure state anxiety, which refers to feelings at the moment, and trait anxiety, which relates to an individual's tendency to perceive stressful situations as dangerous or threatening and to respond to these situations with an elevated state of anxiety. Despite being designed for adults, the STAI-Y can be used in populations with a Grade 4-5 reading level. In mainland China, this scale has been used mainly with college students and adults (e.g., Li & Qian, 1995; Zheng et al., 1993); its use with middle school and high school students has been limited to a small number of studies (e.g., Cao & Liu, 2014a; Chen, Cao, & Liu, 2013). The lack of studies on the application of this assessment tool with young age groups is of serious concern and creates a large gap in research focused on the investigation and validation of issues that readily arise in the use of the STAI-Y with younger age groups.

One such issue found in younger age groups is that answers can easily be missed because of the child's limited cognitive ability. However, comparative research on the group characteristics of individuals who have missing answers (the missing-answer group) and individuals who complete all items (the valid-answer group) has not yet been undertaken. Although most people with a reading ability equivalent to fourth or fifth graders do not need instructions to answer the STAI-Y items, some participants who can read at this level still cannot complete the scale as they do not understand the instructions or the content of some items, resulting in missing answers. In a study of adult Brazilian participants, only 0.7% of the sample missed items (Kaipper, Chachamovich, Hidalgo, da Silva Torres, & Caumo, 2010), but in a study of Spanish college students aged 20 to 25 years, individuals who had missing answers accounted for 3.8% of the sample (Bados, Gómez-Benito, & Balaguer, 2010). In contrast, children and adolescents in Grades 4 to 9 in mainland China with missing answers on the STAI-Y accounted for 32.3% of the sample (Cao & Liu, 2014b).

There are some commonly used methods for processing missing data. For respondents who omit one or two items on either the state or the trait anxiety subscale, a prorated valid-scale score can be obtained by determining the mean weighted score for the scale items to which the individual responded, multiplying this value by 20, and rounding the product to the next highest whole number. If three or more items are omitted, "the validity of the scale must be questioned" (Spielberger et al., 1983, p. 4). However, when conducting confirmatory factor analysis, researchers must remove all surveys with missing answers (Bados et al., 2010; Cao & Liu, 2014b). Therefore, when using the STAI-Y for young age groups, which may have a large number of individuals with missing answers, the data processing method and the comparison of the group characteristics between the missing-answer group and the valid-answer group becomes critical.

A second issue regarding using the STAI-Y with young age groups is that the number of factors has yet to be clearly determined. The STAI-Y consists of 40 items, with 20 items each for state anxiety and trait anxiety. Each type of anxiety has its own scale with the following two categories of items: anxiety present (positive items) and anxiety absent (negative items). This type of balanced scale, consisting of both positive and negative items, has always been thought to have a one-factor structure. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Use of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory with Children and Adolescents in China: Issues with Reaction Times
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.