Essay on Evaluating the Beck Anxiety Inventory

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Evaluating the Beck Anxiety Inventory

The Beck Anxiety Inventory is a 21-item scale that measures the severity of self-reported anxiety in adults and adolescents. The inventory was created by Aaron T. Beck and his colleague, Robert A. Steer, at the Center for Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. The most recent edition was published in 1993 by The Psychological Corporation, Harcourt Brace & Company in San Antonio, TX. The first edition was published in 1988. The 1993 edition recommends different scoring guidelines than previous editions. There is only one form and one manual as part of the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). To purchase the BAI in 2010, the manual and 25 scoring sheets
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The items of the BAI were drawn from three earlier self-report instruments that measured various aspects of anxiety. The BAI was developed with adult psychiatric outpatients and the manual recommends using caution with other clinical populations.

The manual discusses internal consistency and test-retest in terms of reliability. Internal consistency is measuring how scores on individual items relate to each other or to the test as a whole. In two subsample studies, high internal consistency was found. In the first study, with a mixed sample of 160 outpatients, Beck, Epstein et al. (1988) reported that the BAI had high internal consistency reliability (Cronbach coefficient alpha = .92), and Fydrich et al. found a slightly higher level of internal consistency (coefficient alpha = .94). This means that the items on the BAI are all measuring the same variable, anxiety. Test-retest is testing for a relationship between a score from one test given at two different opportunities. A sample of 83 outpatients from the Beck, Epstein et al. study completed the BAI one week after their initial intake evaluation and before starting cognitive therapy. The correlation between intake and one-week BAI scores was .75 (p < .001). This means that the patient’s responses were consistent from the first test to the second test a week later.

The manual considers five types of validity: content, concurrent, construct,
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