Reliability, Validity and Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) as they Relate to Testing Female Adult with Chronic Depression
Before doing any discussion on the topic, it seems necessary to understand what it means by reliability and validity in the context of the topic above. First, ‘Reliability in the context of psychological testing means “the consistency of results, including consistency across time, situation, and evaluator” (Flens, J. R. & Drozd, L. 2005, p. 5). Validity on the other hand talks about the accuracy of the test, while the standard Error of Measurement refers to “the margin of error surrounding a test score” (Flens & Drozd p. 5).
Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) in relation to adult female with chronic depression is used as a determining factor of the potential levels of sensitivity to cognitive change (Carreno, Blanchard, & Cohen). Considering Flens and Drozd’s definition of Standard Error of Measurement, the focus of SEM is to determine the margin of error surrounding a test score. Measurement means result may not be precisely correct and that some result may be expected. It is this potential error that is represented by Standard Error of Measurement.
Reliability in this case has to do with the result of test that determines the potential levels of sensitivity of adult women with chronic depression to cognitive change whether it is consistent across time, situation, and evaluator. In other words, reliability has something to do with the confidence level in the decision that had been made based on the test results. Reliability therefore must address factors such quality of the test used to determine results, item difficulty, length, and homogeneity of the test content. Validity as Flens and Drozd defined it has something to do with the accuracy of this test.
Chronic depression is a personality disorder. Female adult with chronic depression exhibits mood disorders as well as a pattern of feeling, thinking, and behavior that is dysfunctional and is usually associated with distress. In measuring depression among adult female, three major hypotheses have been employed by most theories in order to determine results of the study. These are: 1. certain personality features predispose a person to major depression. 2. Personality modifies major depression, and 3. Personality disturbances are a complication of or are simply an attenuated expression of major depression.
In adult women with chronic depression, depression is measured in terms of occurrence of depressive symptoms in the broad populations through utilizing mechanisms of depressive symptomology which includes feelings of worthlessness and guilt, loss of appetites, and the retardation of the psychomotor. According to Emily Sands, in measuring depression among female adults, respondents are requested how often these female adult experienced numerous symptoms in the past week (p. 7). Sands noted that on the basis of frequency and symptoms each depressive symptom is allocated a score. Scores then are summed for a total score beginning from 0 to 60. Sands emphasized that scores below sixteen is pointing of no depression, while 16 to 23 percent are considered mild depression and 24 to and above are severe depression.
The reliability of this measurement depends of the given processes that were mentioned which are based on the quality of the test that will be conducted as well as on the length and the homogeneity of the test content. Its validity then would be determined based on the quality of its content. The reliability validity and Standard error of measurement in relating to female adult with chronic depression has something to do with the degree of the depression rather than the errors in the processes of measurement.
Carreno, J. Blanchard, J. & Cohen, A. The Maryland Longitudinal Study of Schizotypy: Three-year Follow-up Data
Flens, J. & Drozd L. (2005) Psychological Testing in Child Custody Evaluations USA: The Haworth Press, Inc.
Sands, E. “Linking Depressed Earnings to Adolescent Depression”