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Psychol Assess. 2004 Sep;16(3):231-43.

Focus groups in psychological assessment: enhancing content validity by consulting members of the target population.

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  • 1National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Boston, MA 02130, USA. Dawne.Vogt@med.va.gov

Abstract

A review of articles in Psychological Assessment reveals that many researchers develop instruments without the benefit of consultation with members of the target population. To the extent that researchers do consult the target population, most fail to bring consultation in early enough to inform the identification and specification of key constructs. Moreover, this consultation typically takes the form of one-to-one interviews. The authors' goal in this article was to elaborate on the importance of population consultation as part of content validation and to critically evaluate the potential of one method of consultation, focus groups, to inform multiple stages of instrument development. The authors suggest that this method holds promise for enhancing the content validity of instruments and, ultimately, the validity of research findings.

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