Measurement of Dependent Variables
Louis H. Primavera Department of Psychology St. John's University
David B. Allison Obesity Research Center St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Vincent C. Alfonso Graduate School of Education Fordham University and Crossroads School for Child Development
This chapter considers theoretical and applied issues in the measurement of dependent variables. It is divided into three broad sections. The first is primarily conceptual in nature and discusses the meanings of and distinction among constructs, operations, and measures. The second section concerns the assessment of dependent variable reliability or agreement. Finally, the third concerns practical issues in obtaining the actual data.
In using single-subject designs it is necessary to decide on an outcome measure or measures. It is common for researchers to choose behaviors that reflect some salient behavioral problem and that can be measured easily. In choosing measures, careful thought needs to be given to the constructs these measures represent. Cronbach and Meehl ( 1955) de-