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J Pediatr Psychol. 2014 Apr;39(3):369-79. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jst079. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

The use of Likert scales with children.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Deakin University, Burwood 3125, Victoria, Australia. mellor@deakin.edu.au.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated elementary school children's ability to use a variety of Likert response formats to respond to concrete and abstract items.

METHODS:

111 children, aged 6-13 years, responded to 2 physical tasks that required them to make objectively verifiable judgments, using a 5-point response format. Then, using 25 items, we ascertained the consistency between responses using a "gold standard" yes/no format and responses using 5-point Likert formats including numeric values, as well as word-based frequencies, similarities to self, and agreeability.

RESULTS:

All groups responded similarly to the physical tasks. For the 25 items, the use of numbers to signify agreement yielded low concordance with the yes/no answer format across age-groups. Formats based on words provided higher, but not perfect, concordance for all groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Researchers and clinicians need to be aware of the limited understanding that children have of Likert response formats.

KEYWORDS:

abstract tasks; children; Likert scale

PMID:
24163438
DOI:
10.1093/jpepsy/jst079
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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