Date: 02 Jun 2009

Psychometric Evaluation of the Life Orientation Test—Revised in Treated Opiate Dependent Individuals

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We examined internal consistency and test-retest reliability of a measure of dispositional optimism, the Life Orientation Test — Revised, in 121 opiate-dependent patients seeking methadone treatment. Internal consistency was adequate at baseline (α = .69) and follow-up (α = .72). Low socioeconomic status and being on disability were significantly associated with reduced internal consistency; ethnic and educational differences approached significance. Test-retest reliability was good (ICC = .72), varying across gender, race, ethnicity, education, employment and income (ICC Range = .24 –.85). Criterion validity was strong; the LOT-R was significantly negatively correlated with hopelessness (r = -.65, p < .001) and depression (r = -.60, p < .001). Findings support the use of this measure of optimism and pessimism to assess positive cognitive and emotional attributes and improve treatment strategies for opiate-dependent individuals. Future research should address the measurement and significance of optimism in minority, low socioeconomic status and poorly-educated individuals.

Manuscript preparation was supported by United States Public Health Service Grant T32MH20061, and the Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Center of Excellence at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center.