Degree Granting Department
Educational Measurement and Research
Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.
Study skills and habits, Procrastination, Construct validity, Confirmatory factor analysis, Measurement invariance, Gender, Undergraduates
The Study Anxiety Inventory (SAI), consisting of the factors of worry and emotionality, was developed to measure college students' self-reported levels of anxiety while studying for an exam. Data from 2002 undergraduate students from four colleges (Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Business, and Education) at a southeastern state university were used to evaluate the validity of the scores from the 16-item Study Anxiety Inventory. Results of confirmatory factor analyses for the two factor model, conducted separately for each college, indicated marginally acceptable fit for the data (median fit measures across the four colleges: CFI =.915, SRMR=.049, RMSEA=.098), a pattern that was repeated for both males and females. Multigroup CFA was used to evaluate the factorial invariance of the SAI across gender within each college. Factor loadings (i.e., pattern coefficients) for the SAI items were not found to be significantly different between males and females (p > .05).
Error variances for four items were found to be significantly different between males and females, indicating that there may be some difference in scale reliability by gender. Factor covariances were invariant for all four colleges (p > .05) and factor variances were invariant for all but the worry component for the College of Arts and Sciences where females had significantly greater variability on the worry factor. As was hypothesized, the SAI scores were positively correlated with scores on measures of test anxiety (median r=.74), trait anxiety (median r=.46), active procrastination (median r=.23), and passive procrastination (median r=.29), but negatively correlated with trait curiosity (median r=-.19). Contrary to what was hypothesized, no relationship was demonstrated between study anxiety and study skills and habits (median r=-.03).
The nomological network was extended in this study by examining relationships between scores obtained from students on the SAI and measures of active and passive procrastination. This is the first study that systematically examines the factorial invariance of the SAI by gender, which is important because previous research using the SAI has shown men's scores to be consistently lower than women's scores. The results obtained in the current study provide support for gender invariance in a nonclinical population in the situation specific level of anxiety while studying.
There is sufficient evidence of validity and reliability (median Cronbach alphas for males and females for the total score were .978 and .980, for worry were .968 and .973, and for emotionality were .947 and .951, respectively) that a researcher should feel confident that the SAI is a psychometrically sound research tool that holds up fairly well across a number of different types of students and that making mean comparisons on the SAI by gender is acceptable.
Scholar Commons Citation
Lunsford, George Douglas, "Multiple approaches to the validation of the scores from the study anxiety inventory" (2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.