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Do State and Trait Measures Measure States and Traits? The Case of Community-Dwelling Caregivers of Older Adults.

Authors
  • Lance, Charles E1, 2
  • Christie, Juliette3
  • Williamson, Gail M3
  • 1 Organizational Research & Development, Lawrenceville, GA, USA.
  • 2 University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. , (South Africa)
  • 3 University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA. , (Georgia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Assessment
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
Volume
28
Issue
3
Pages
829–844
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1073191119888582
PMID: 31771344
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Spielberger's state and trait anxiety and anger scales are widely used and documented, but there is little or no direct evidence that they actually measure their respective state and trait aspects as was intended. We conducted latent state-trait analyses on data collected from 310 community-dwelling caregivers of older adult care recipients and found that (a) both state and trait scales reflected a mixture of state and trait aspects of their latent constructs, (b) state scales reflected more state-like variance than did corresponding trait scales, but (c) both state and trait scales were dominated by stable trait-like variance. Follow-up bivariate latent state-trait analyses indicated that correlations between trait components of anger and anxiety correlated more strongly with trait components of caregiver-care recipient mutually communal behavior and care recipient problem behavior than did state-state component correlations. Implications for the measurement of state and trait components of psychological constructs are discussed.

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