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Assessment. 2019 Jan;26(1):125-143. doi: 10.1177/1073191116689820. Epub 2017 Jan 30.

Development, Administration, and Structural Validity of a Brief, Computerized Neurocognitive Battery: Results From the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers.

Author information

1
1 University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
2
2 Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
3
3 University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
4
4 VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA, USA.
5
5 Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
6
6 New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA.
7
7 Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
8
8 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
9
9 Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) is a research project aimed at identifying risk and protective factors for suicide and related mental health outcomes among Army Soldiers. The New Soldier Study component of Army STARRS included the assessment of a range of cognitive- and emotion-processing domains linked to brain systems related to suicidal behavior including posttraumatic stress disorder, mood disorders, substance use disorders, and impulsivity. We describe the design and application of the Army STARRS neurocognitive test battery to a sample of 56,824 soldiers. We investigate its structural and concurrent validity through factor analysis and correlation of scores with demographics. We conclude that, in addition to being composed of previously well-validated measures, the Army STARRS neurocognitive battery as a whole demonstrates good psychometric properties. Correlations of scores with age and sex differences mostly replicate previously published findings, highlighting moderate to large effect sizes even within this restricted age range. Factor structures of scores conform to theoretical expectations. This neurocognitive battery provides a brief, valid measurement of neurocognition that may be helpful in predicting mental health and military performance. These measures can be integrated with neuroimaging to offer a powerful tool for assessing neurocognition in Servicemembers.

KEYWORDS:

Army STARRS; Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery; neurocognitive assessment; posttraumatic stress disorder; psychometrics

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