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On the subjective–objective distinction for measures of memory and cognition: Theoretical and methodological issues in questionnaire development and validation
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Departement of Educational Measurement.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1442-3939
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to develop a questionnaire for cognitive functioning, which could possibly be used as a screening instrument for early signs of dementia in the future. The introduction discusses the often made distinction between subjective and objective measures. A background to the four articles is provided, focussing on findings of weak relationships between self-report- and laboratory measures of memory/cognition. Studies I and II provided results and conclusions that guided instrument development and validation in Studies III and IV. All studies were based on data from participants in the Betula Prospective Cohort Study. Study I investigated predictors of scores on an established self-report instrument for memory failures (PRMQ). Candidate predictors were memory performance on laboratory tests, age, depressive symptoms, and personality traits. There was no relation to age, and test performance did not predict self-reported memory, but depressive symptoms and personality did. Given the finding of a lack of a relation to age, and a bulk of research articles claiming that memory complaints are common in the elderly or increase with age, Study II used a global rating of problems with memory, and reports of perceived causes. In contrast to Study I, problems ratings were related to age, such that increasing age meant higher severity of problems. Furthermore, perceived causes of memory problems differed across age. The elderly reported aging while the young reported stress and multitasking as primary causes. With these results as a background, the purpose of Study III was to develop a new instrument (the Cognitive Dysfunction Questionnaire - CDQ) with the explicit aim that scores should be related to laboratory test performance. A global construct of cognitive functioning with an emphasis on memory systems was adopted, and an item pool was generated. Based on exploratory principal components analysis and correlations with criterion measures (laboratory test performance), twenty items in six domains were selected. Preliminary psychometric evidence showed that the CDQ was reliable, and related to age and objective measures, but not to depressive symptoms. In Study IV, twenty additional items were constructed, and the CDQ was responded to by participants in independent samples. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the factor structure derived from Study III, and refinement was undertaken by collapse of two domains and exclusion of items. The final factor structure was cross-validated. Competing models and measurement invariance across age and sex was tested. Psychometric properties were investigated for the final 20-item version.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Department of Applied Educational Science , 2011. , 52 p.
Series
Academic dissertations at the department of Educational Measurement, ISSN 1652-9650 ; 7
Keyword [en]
cognitive dysfunction, measurement, memory complaints, self report, subjective memory, subjective–objective
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
didactics of educational measurement
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46076ISBN: 978-91-7459-271-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-46076DiVA: diva2:438922
Public defence
2011-09-30, Hörsal 1031, Norra beteendevetarhuset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-09-09 Created: 2011-08-25 Last updated: 2014-12-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Predictors of self-reported prospective and retrospective memory in a population-based sample of older adults
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Predictors of self-reported prospective and retrospective memory in a population-based sample of older adults
2011 (English)In: The Journal of Genetic Psychology, ISSN 0022-1325, E-ISSN 1940-0896, Vol. 172, no 3, 266-284 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, the authors examined predictors of self-reported everyday memory failures using the Prospective and Retrospective Questionnaire (PRMQ; Smith, Della Sala, Logie, &Maylor, 2000) in a population-based sample of older adults (age range = 60–90 years; N = 250). The results showed that a higher frequency of reported failures was associated with lower scores on the personality dimension of self-directedness as assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI; Cloninger, Dragan, Svrakic,& Przybeck, 1993) and more depressive symptoms on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977).However, PRMQscores showed no relationships with objective memory ability, as reflected by a series of retrospective memory measures and a measure of prospective memory. Neither were the PRMQ scales associated with general cognitive functioning as assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE; Folstein, Folstein, & McHugh, 1977). Taken together, the results indicate that within the older population, self-reported memory as assessed by the PRMQ may reflect moodstate and personality factors rather than individual differences in memory and cognitive ability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2011
Keyword
aging, depressive symptoms, personality, subjective memory
National Category
Psychology Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Psychology; didactics of educational measurement
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-45758 (URN)10.1080/00221325.2010.538450 (DOI)000300000500003 ()21902005 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2011-08-16 Created: 2011-08-16 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Perceived causes of everyday memory problems in a population-based sample aged 39–99
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceived causes of everyday memory problems in a population-based sample aged 39–99
2011 (English)In: Applied Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0888-4080, E-ISSN 1099-0720, Vol. 25, no 4, 641-646 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is usually a weak relation between memory complaints and laboratory memory performance, but few studies have investigated what people perceive as causes of their everyday memory problems. This study investigated prevalence, severity and perceived causes of memory problems in a population-based sample (N = 361, age-range 39–99). 30.2 per cent of the participants reported memory complaints (at least moderate memory problems). Higher age was associated with more severe memory problems, but the age-related differences were small. The most frequent perceived causes were age/ageing, stress and multitasking. Age/ageing as a cause was more frequent among older participants, and stress and multitasking were more frequent among middle-aged participants. The results suggest that everyday stress and level of engagement in multiple tasks or commitments, that place demands on cognitive resources, are important variables to consider when studying the relations between subjective everyday memory measures, age and memory performance in the laboratory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2011
National Category
Psychology Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
didactics of educational measurement; Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38303 (URN)10.1002/acp.1734 (DOI)
Available from: 2010-12-03 Created: 2010-12-03 Last updated: 2014-12-02Bibliographically approved
3. Development of the cognitive dysfunction questionnaire (CDQ) in a population based sample
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of the cognitive dysfunction questionnaire (CDQ) in a population based sample
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 52, no 3, 218-228 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study reports on the development of a questionnaire for assessment of adult cognitive dysfunction (CDQ). Participants in a population-based sample(65 ± 15 years, N = 370) responded to a 90-item pilot version covering multiple aspects of memory/cognition. Based on exploratory principal components analyses and correlations with criterion measures of cognitive functioning (MMSE, Block Design, semantic/episodic memory), 20 items loading on 6 components were selected for the final version of the questionnaire. Cronbach’s a for the total score was 0.90. There was evidence of construct validity as judged by correlations between CDQ scores, objective cognitive measures, and a subjective memory measure (PRMQ). Discriminant validity was demonstrated by a low and non-significant correlation with depressive symptoms. Further evidence of construct validity was provided by correlations with age and educational attainment. In conclusion, the CDQ is promising as a self-rating screening tool for cognitive dysfunction, and will be the subject of further development and validation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 2011
Keyword
Questionnaire development, subjective memory, self-report measures, cognitive functioning, cognitive dysfunction, cognitive impairment.
National Category
Psychology Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Psychology; didactics of educational measurement
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38304 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9450.2010.00861.x (DOI)
Available from: 2010-12-03 Created: 2010-12-03 Last updated: 2014-12-02Bibliographically approved
4. Multigroup confirmatory factor analysis of the cognitive dysfunction questionnaire: instrument refinement and measurement invariance across age and sex
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multigroup confirmatory factor analysis of the cognitive dysfunction questionnaire: instrument refinement and measurement invariance across age and sex
2012 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 53, no 5, 390-400 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study adopted CFA to investigate the factorial structure and reduce the number of items of the Cognitive Dysfunction Questionnaire (CDQ; Vestergren, Rönnlund, Nyberg, & Nilsson, 2011). The analyses were based on data for a total of 1115 participants from population based samples (mean age: 63.0 ± 14.5 years, range: 25 - 95) randomly split into a refinement (n = 569) and a cross-validation (n = 546) sample. Equivalence of the measurement and structural portions of the refined model was demonstrated across the refinement and cross-validation samples. Among competing models the best fitting and parsimonious model had a hierarchical factor structure with five first-order and one second-order general factor. The final version of the CDQ consisted of 20 items in five domains (Procedural actions, Semantic word knowledge, Face recognition, Temporal orientation and Spatial navigation). Internal consistency reliabilities were adequate for the total scale and for the subscales. Multigroup CFAs were performed and the results indicate measurement invariance across age and sex up to the scalar level. Finally, higher levels of cognitive dysfunction as reflected by CDQ scores were observed with advancing age and with deficits in general cognitive functioning as reflected by scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination. In conclusion, adoption of the final version of the CDQ appears to be a way of measuring cognitive dysfunction without administering formal cognitive tests. Future studies should apply it among clinical groups to further test its usefulness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2012
Keyword
Subjective memory, self-report measures, cognitive functioning, cognitive impairment
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
didactics of educational measurement; Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-45671 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9450.2012.00970.x (DOI)22962857 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2011-08-22 Created: 2011-08-09 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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