Features of Interview Questions Associated with Attenuation of Symptom Reports
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Previous studies have suggested that discrepant reporting in a test–retest reliability paradigm is not purely random measurement error, but partly a function of a systematic tendency to say “no” during retest to questions answered positively at initial testing (“attenuation”). To examine features of interview questions that may be associated with attenuation, three raters independently assessed the structural and content features of questions from the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (version 2.3) and linked these to data from a test–retest reliability study of 223 community respondents (parent and child reports). Results indicated that for both parent and youth reports, item features most strongly associated with attenuation were (a) being a “stem” question (asked of all respondents, regardless of any skip structure); (b) question placement in the first half of the interview; (c) question length; (d) question complexity; or (e) requiring assessment of the timing, duration, or frequency of a symptom. Findings may be explained by participants' conscious efforts to avoid further questions or by their learning more about the nature and purpose of the interview as they gain more experience; alternatively, findings may represent a methodological artifact of structured interview design.
- Andreasen, N. C., Grove, W. M., Shapiro, R. W., Keller, M. B., Hirschfield, R. M. A., & McDonald, S. P. (1981). Reliability of life-time diagnosis: A multicenter collaborative perspective. Archives of General Psychiatry, 38, 400-405.
- Angold, A., Erkanli, A., Costello, E. J., & Rutter, M. (1996). Precision, reliability and accuracy in the dating of symptom onsets in child and adolescent psychopathology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 37, 657-664.
- Anthony, J. C., Folstein, M., Romanoski, A. J., Von Korff, M. R., Nestadt, G. N., Chahal, R., Merchant, A., Brown, C. H., Shapiro, S., Kramer, M., & Gruenberg, E. M. (1985). Comparison of lay Diagnostic Interview Schedule and a standardized psychiatric diagnosis: Experience in Eastern Baltimore. Archives of General Psychiatry, 42, 667-675.
- Breton, J. J., Bergeron, L., Valla, J. P., Lepine, S., Houde, L., & Gaudet, N. (1995). Do children aged 9 to 11 understand the DISC version 2.25 questions? Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 946-956.
- Costello, E. J., Burns, B. J., Angold, A., & Leaf, P. J. (1993). How can epidemiology improve mental health services for children and adolescents? Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 32, 1106-1113.
- Edelbrock, C., Crnic, K., & Bohnert, A. (1999). Interviewing as communication: An alternative way of administering the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27, 447-453.
- Fallon, T., & Schwab-Stone, M. (1996). Determinants of reliability in psychiatric surveys of children aged 6–12. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 35, 1391-1408.
- Helzer, J. E., Robins, L. N., McEvoy, L. T., Spitznagel, E. L., Stoltzman, R. K., Farmer, A., & Brockington, I. F. (1985). A comparison of clinical and Diagnostic Interview Schedule diagnoses: Physician reexamination of lay interviewed cases in the general population. Archives of General Psychiatry, 42, 657-666.
- Jensen, P., Roper, M., Fisher, P., Piacentini, J., Canino, G., Richters, J., Rubio-Stipec, M., Dulcan, M., Goodman, S., Davies, M., Rae, D., Shaffer, D., Bird, H., Lahey, B., & Schwab-Stone, M. (1995). Test-retest reliability of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC-2.1), parent, child, and combined algorithms. Archives of General Psychiatry, 52, 61-71.
- Jensen, P., Watanabe, H., & Richters, J. (1999). Who's up first? Testing for order effects in structured interviews using a counterbalanced experimental design. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27, 439-445.
- Kessler, R. C., McGonagle, K. A., Zhao, S., Nelson, C. B., Hughes, M., Eshelman, S., Wittchen, H. U., & Kendler, K. S. (1994). Lifetime and 12 month prevalence of DSM R psychiatric disorders in the United States. Archives of General Psychiatry, 51, 8-19.
- Lahey, B. B., Flagg, E. W., Bird, H., Schwab-Stone, M. E., Canino, G., Dulcan, M. K., Leaf, P. J., Davies, M., Brogan, D., Bourdon, K., Horwitz, S. M., Rubio-Stipec, M., Freeman, D. H., Lichtman, J. H., Shaffer, D., Goodman, S. H., Narrow, W. E., Weissman, M. M., Kandel, D., Jensen, P. S., Richters, J. E., & Regier, D. A. (1996). The NIMH Methods for the Epidemiology of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders (MECA) Study: Background and methodology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 855-864.
- Loftus, E. F., Smith, K. D., Klinger, M. R., & Fiedler, J. (1994). Memory and mismemory for health events. In J. Tanur (Ed.), Questions about questions (pp. 102-137). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
- Lucas, C. P. (1992). The order effect: Reflections on the validity of multiple test presentations. Psychological Medicine, 22, 197-202.
- Piacentini, J., Roper M., Jensen P., Lucas, C., Fisher, P., Bird, H., Bourdon, K., Canino, G., Davies, M., & Schwab-Stone, M. (1999). Informant-based determinants of symptom attenuation in structured child psychiatric interviews. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27, 417-428.
- Ribera, J., Canino, G., Rubio-Stipec, M., Bravo, M., Bauermeister, J. J., Alegria, M., Woodbury, M., Huertas, S., Guevara, L. M., Bird, H. R., Freeman, D. H., & Shrout, P. (1996). The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC-2.1) in Spanish: Reliability in a Hispanic population. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 37, 195-204.
- Robins, L. N. (1985). Epidemiology: Reflections on testing the validity of psychiatric interviews. Archives of General Psychiatry, 42, 918-924.
- SAS Institute, Inc. (1989). SAS/STAT User's Guide (Version 6, 4th ed. Vol. 2). Cary, NC: Author.
- Schwab-Stone, M., Shaffer, D., Dulcan, M., Jensen, P., Fisher, P., Bird, H., Goodman, S., Lahey, B., Lichtman, J., Canino, G., Rubio-Stipec, M., & Rae, D. S. (1996). Criterion validity of the NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version 2.3 (DISC 2.3). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 878-888.
- Shaffer, D., Fisher, P., Dulcan, M., Davies, M., Piacentini, J., Schwab-Stone, M., Lahey, B., Bourdon, K., Jensen, P., Bird, H., Canino, G., & Regier, D. (1996). The NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC 2): Description, acceptability, prevalence rates, and performance in the MECA study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 865-877.
- Features of Interview Questions Associated with Attenuation of Symptom Reports
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume 27, Issue 6 , pp 429-437
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- diagnostic interviews
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York. Christopher P. Lucas
- 2. Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles, California
- 3. Office of the Director, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland
- 4. Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
- 5. Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut
- 6. Mental Health and Anti Addiction Services of Puerto Rico &, Behavioral Sciences Research Institute; Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico