Psychometric Investigation of a Brief Measure of Outcomes in Children's Mental Health

Published In: Community Mental Health Journal, v. 50, no. 2, Feb. 2014, p. 204-208

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2013

by Lauren Terhorst, Shari Hutchison, Mark J. Sorbero, Ann M. Mitchell, Judith W. Dogin, Bradley D. Stein

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The current investigation sought to provide reliability and validity evidence for the Child Outcomes Survey (COS), a brief measure designed with a dual purpose to measure functioning and therapeutic relationship and to serve as a clinician-caregiver communication tool. Exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were performed using a sample of 774 responses collected from 15 provider sites throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Results of the EFA (n = 387) uncovered a three factor structure (family functioning, child functioning, and therapeutic relationship) which was confirmed in the CFA (n = 387). The internal consistency reliability of the three subscales ranged from α = .76 to α = .91. There was a significant relationship between the therapeutic relationship subscale and the use of the COS as a communication aid (r s = .50, p < .001). Findings support the COS as an accurate measure of functioning and therapeutic relationship and its utility as a communication aid between clinician and caregiver.

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