Skip to main content

The reliability of a two-item scale: Pearson, Cronbach, or Spearman-Brown?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  • Bollen KA (1989) Structural equations with latent variables. Wiley, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Cramer ME, Atwood JR, Stoner JA (2006) Measuring community coalition effectiveness using the ICE© instrument. Public Health Nurs 23:74–87

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cuijpers P, Smits N, Donker T, ten Have M, de Graaf R (2009) Screening for mood and anxiety disorders with the five-item, the three-item, and the two-item mental health inventory. Psychiat Res 168:250–255

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Embretson SE, Reise SP (2000) Item response theory for psychologists. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah

    Google Scholar 

  • Emons WHM, Sijtsma K, Meijer RR (2007) On the consistency of individual classification using short scales. Psychol Methods 12:105–120

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hancock GR, Mueller RO (2001) Rethinking construct reliability within latent variable systems. In Cudeck R, Du Toit S, Sörbom D (Eds), Structural equation modeling: present and future. A festschrift in honor of Karl Jöreskog. Scientific Software International, Lincolnwood, pp 195–216

  • Herbert W, Marsh HW, Hau K-T, Balla JR, Grayson D (1998) Is more ever too much? The number of indicators per factor in confirmatory factor analysis. Multivar Behav Res 33:181–220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hulin C, Netemeyer R, Cudeck R (2001) Can a reliability coefficient be too high? J Consum Psychol 10:55–58

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Little TD, Lindenberger U, Nesselroade JR (1999) On selecting indicators for multivariate measurement and modeling with latent variables: when ‘good’ indicators are bad and ‘bad’ indicators are good. Psychol Methods 4:192–211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lord FM, Novick MR (1968) Statistical theories of mental test scores. Reading, Addison-Wesley

  • Löwe B, Kroenke K, Gräfe K (2005) Detecting and monitoring depression with a two-item questionnaire (PHQ-2). J Psychosom Res 58:163–171

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Michal M, Zwerenz R, Tschan R, Edinger J, Lichy M, Knebel A, Tuin I, Beutel M (2010) Screening for depersonalization-derealization with two items of the Cambridge depersonalization scale. Psychother Psych Med 60:175–179

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • O’Brien M, Buikstra E, Hegney D (2008) The influence of psychological factors on breastfeeding duration. J Adv Nurs 63:397–408

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Revelle W, Zinbarg RE (2009) Coefficients alpha, beta, omega, and the GLB: comments on Sijtsma. Psychometrika 74:145–154

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rüsch N, Corrigan PW, Wassel A, Michaels P, Olschewski M, Wilkniss S, Batia K (2009) A stress-coping model of mental illness stigma. I. Predictors of cognitive stress appraisal. Schizophr Res 110:59–64

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sainfort F, Booske BC (2000) Measuring post-decision satisfaction. Med Decis Mak 20:51–61

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sijtsma K (2009) On the use, the misuse, and the very limited usefulness of Cronbach’s alpha. Psychometrika 74:107–120

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Verhoef PC (2003) Understanding the effect of customer relationship management efforts on customer retention and customer share development. J Mark 67:30–45

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Young J, Jeganathan S, Houtzager L, Di Guilmi A, Purnomo J (2009) A valid two-item food security questionnaire for screening HIV-1 infected patients in a clinical setting. Public Health Nutr 12:2129–2132

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to William Revelle and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on a previous version of this manuscript and suggestions for improvements.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rob Eisinga.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Eisinga, R., Grotenhuis, M.t. & Pelzer, B. The reliability of a two-item scale: Pearson, Cronbach, or Spearman-Brown?. Int J Public Health 58, 637–642 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-012-0416-3

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-012-0416-3

Keywords

  • Coefficient Alpha
  • True Score
  • Local Dependence
  • Classical Test Theory
  • True Reliability