Reliability and Validity
Walden University Reliability and Validity
Whiston (2013) has explained that reliability is the qualification for having validity. The instrument can be reliable but does not mean it is valid. However, the assessment must be reliable to be valid. Whiston (2013) stated that if the inventory can measure something consistently but it may not be measuring what the assessment is supposed to measure then it is reliable but not valid. II. Purpose and Nature of the Instrument
A. Stated purpose: The purpose of the MDI-C is to process and evaluate the depression
in children and adolescents. The instrument is to assist in making a diagnosis of
depression in youths. The assessment is not for the very young as it is set at a second
grade reading level. The MDI-C can be used to evaluate the progress of treatment plans
and gauge the progress of the client.
B. Description of test, items, and scoring: The MDI-C consists of 79 items that will
produce a score, which “measures global severity of depression” (Furlong & Chung,
2000, p. 72) in children from 8 -17 years of age. The assessment maintains eight
subscales, which are anxiety, self-esteem, sad mood, instrumental helplessness, social
introversion, low energy, pessimism, and defiance (Furlong & Chung, 2000). The MDI-
C is a true/false instrument that is scored by hand or electronically. The results are
divided into three groupings by ages “8-10; 11-13; 14-17” (Furlong & Chung, 2000, p.
73) and gender.
C. Use in counseling: The instrument can be a tool used in counseling. The MDI-C is
an aid for the mental health professional in diagnosing the youth. The assessment
provides assistance in determining the severity of depression. III. Technical Considerations
A. Normative sample: According to Berndt and Kaiser (1996) “The normative sample for the MDI-C consisted of 1,465 children between the ages of 8 and 17 years within grades 3 to 12 in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington” (para. 21). One interesting fact is that the demographics of the assessment had a higher likelihood of African American and Native Americans than Asians and Hispanics. The minority sampling was not intentional just that the states that were selected had the minority base as listed above. B. Reliability: There are 1,465 subjects in the normative sample, maintaining subscale
alphas that “ranged from .70 (Low Energy) to .85 (Sad Mood), with a Total score alpha
of .94” (Furlong & Chung, 2000, p. 74). There are less positive results for the internal
consistency with the scales when evaluating the three age groups. The two age groups 8
– 11 and 14 – 17 year olds of the eight subscales six had alphas lower than .80 (Furlong
& Chung, 2000). However, the Total score for the MDI-C possesses the internal
consistency at .92 - .94 (Furlong & Chung, 2000). In the end, the MDI-C does assess
and measure the emotional experiences of youths. C. Validity: For the criterion validity the MDI-C was compared to the Children’s Depression Inventory, the correlation was found to be at .84 (Furlong & Chung, 2000). Through the comparison it reflects a higher score for low self –esteem and pessimism subscales. Furlong and Chung (2000) question the validity of the MDI-C, in which they state “This pattern adds additional confusion about what the MDI-C primarily measures; clinical depression or general low self-esteem and associated pessimism” (p. 76). D. Generalizability: The inventory is suitable for the ages of 8 -17. It is not suitable for younger children. There is the MDI for adults that the MDI-C was created. The assessment is used for depression in children and adolescents. Conclusion
From Furlong and Chung’s (2000) assessment of the MDI-C; it is reliable, however they question the validity of the inventory. As I have mentioned about what Whiston (2013) has stated an...
References: Berndt, D. J. & Kaiser, C. F. (1996). Multiscore Depression Inventory for Children. Mental Measurements Yearbook. Ipswich, MA
Furlong, M. J. & Chung, A. (2000). Book Review: Multiscore Depression Inventory for Children (MDI-C). Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment 18(1); 72 -78. doi: 10.1177/073428290001800110
Whiston, S. C. (2013). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.
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