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Survey Instrument Validity Part I: Principles of Survey Instrument Development and Validation in Athletic Training Education Research Laura J. Burton, PhD, Stephanie M. Mazerolle, PhD, ATC University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT Context: Instrument validation is an important facet of survey research methods and athletic trainers must be aware of the important underlying principles. Objective: To discuss the process of survey development and validation, specifically the process of construct validation. Background: Athletic training researchers frequently employ the use of survey research for topics such as clinical instruction and supervision, burnout, and professional development; however, researchers have not always used proper procedures to ensure instrument validity and reliability for the data collection process. Description: Four major methods exist to establish the validity of an instrument: face, content, criterion related, and construct. When developing a survey to measure a previously unexplored construct (eg, an athletic trainer’s attitudes toward appropriate exertional heat stroke treatment), researchers should employ a four-step process: (1) defining constructs and content domain, (2) generating and judging measurement items, (3) designing and conducting studies to develop a scale, and (4) finalizing the scale. Clinical Advantages: Establishing the validity of a survey instrument strengthens the data yielded from the data collection process, which allows for greater confidence in the interpretation of the results from the survey. Conclusions: Construct validity, although a time-intensive process, is necessary to ensure accuracy and validity of the survey instrument. Key Words: Scale development, scaling procedures, instrument design Dr. Burton is an Associate Professor of Sport Management in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. Please address all correspondence to Laura Burton, PhD, University of Connecticut, 2095 Hillside Road, Unit 1110, Storrs, CT 06269-1110. firstname.lastname@example.org
Full Citation: Burton LJ, Mazerolle SM. Survey instrument validity part I: principles of survey instrument development and validation in athletic training education research. Athl Train Educ J. 2011;6(1):27-35. Athletic Training Education Journal | Volume 6 | Issue 1 | January-March 2011 27
Survey Instrument Validity Part I: Principles of Survey Instrument Development and Validation in Athletic Training Education Research Laura J. Burton, PhD and Stephanie M. Mazerolle, PhD, ATC
s the athletic training profession continues to expand the breadth and depth of research within the field, it is important to ensure that appropriate survey development procedures are followed as there are many research topics within athletic training that lend themselves to survey research.1-2 In a review of the current athletic training literature, there are several studies that have utilized survey design methods for data collection: the evaluation of clinical proficiencies within athletic training education programs,3 clinical instruction and athletic training education,4-5 role strain and the clinical instructor,6 job search strategies and employment issues for undergraduate programs,7 undergraduate student burnout,8 the assessment of student learning styles,9 and teaching practice styles utilized to disseminate concussion related knowledge to students.10 There are a multitude of reasons why the aforementioned studies used survey methods including allowing the researcher to gain a overview of the topic investigated,2 access to a random sample of respondents that can allow for generalization of the results, and providing respondents with the freedom to complete the instrument when it is convenient. An additional, and most significant, benefit to survey research is the ability to...