Retrospective Reports of Negative Early Life Events Over a 4-Year Period: A Test of Measurement Invariance and Response Consistency.

TitleRetrospective Reports of Negative Early Life Events Over a 4-Year Period: A Test of Measurement Invariance and Response Consistency.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAyalon, L
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Volume72
Issue5
Pagination901-912
Date Published2017 Sep 01
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsAged, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Life Change Events, Male, Memory, Episodic, Middle Aged, Models, Statistical, Psychometrics, Reproducibility of Results, Retrospective Studies, Surveys and Questionnaires
Abstract

Objectives: The present study examined measurement invariance (i.e., construct validity), response consistency (i.e., test-retest reliability), and potential predictors of response consistency to the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) negative early life events questionnaire over two time points.

Method: The study was based on the HRS psychosocial questionnaire, which is a U.S. nationally representative survey of individuals older than 50 years and their spouses of any age. Overall, 4,541 individuals older than 50 years were eligible to complete the questionnaire and responded to all four negative early life events items in 2008 and 2012.

Results: Only partial invariance across the two time points was established (with three of the four loadings and two thresholds remaining constant over time). For 20% of the sample, at least one item was inconsistently reported across waves. A positive response to a negative early life event item in 2008 was the most consistent predictor of response inconsistency over time.

Conclusions: The measure of negative early life events has limited construct validity and test-retest reliability. Inconsistency is particularly high among those who had first endorsed an item. The use of this retrospective measure for the understanding of age and aging should be considered with caution. Panel surveys might consider probing about early life events repeatedly to better address inconsistencies over time.

URLhttp://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/09/23/geronb.gbv087.abstract
DOI10.1093/geronb/gbv087
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26405079?dopt=Abstract

Endnote Keywords

Confirmatory factor analysis/Epidemiology/Life events/Psychometrics/Recall/Reliability/Retrospective/Validity

Endnote ID

999999

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key6463
PubMed ID26405079
PubMed Central IDPMC5927090