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Sch Psychol Q. 2015 Jun;30(2):244-259. doi: 10.1037/spq0000083. Epub 2014 Oct 6.

Sensitivity to change and concurrent validity of direct behavior ratings for academic anxiety.

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Department of Psychology, East Carolina University.


Multitiered frameworks of service delivery have traditionally underserved students with mental health needs. Whereas research has supported the assessment and intervention of social and academic behavior across tiers, evidence is limited with regard to mental health concerns including internalizing behaviors (e.g., anxiety and depression). In particular, there is a notable shortage of brief anxiety assessment tools to be used for progress monitoring purposes. Moreover, traditional omnibus rating scale approaches may fail to capture contextually dependent anxiety. The purpose of the present investigation is to examine the sensitivity to change and concurrent validity of Direct Behavior Ratings (DBR; Chafouleas, Riley-Tillman, & Christ, 2009; Chafouleas, Riley-Tillman, & Sugai, 2007) of anxiety and traditional rating scales in measuring academic anxiety directly before, during, and after a potentially anxiety provoking stimulus. Research was conducted with 115 undergraduate students in a Southeastern university. Results indicated significant relationships between DBRs and pre- and postmeasures of anxiety. Change metrics suggested an overall lack of correspondence between DBR and the criterion measure, with DBR scales detecting greater change both across the testing situation and participants. The use of DBR for anxiety is considered within a multitiered, problem-solving framework. Feasibility and limitations associated with implementation are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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