Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #328
Investigating the Psychometric Properties of the VLQ
Monday, May 28, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
4C-4 (Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ann Branstetter-Rost (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Ann Branstetter-Rost (Missouri State University)

A major impediment to outcome research on the action and effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is the lack of valid and reliable measures on the primary constructs, including valued living. The Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ; Wilson, Sandoz, Kitchens, & Roberts, 2010) was designed as a clinical tool, but is being increasingly used in research protocols. This symposium consists of three presentations regarding various psychometric issues of the VLQ. First, researchers must define the best method of scoring the VLQ to yield the most valid data. As such, the first paper reviews common scoring methods and the relation to common dependent variables. The second paper presents potential variations of the VLQ for specific populations, as the original VLQ contains domains which may not pertain to all samples. Finally, the third paper presents an attempt at gaining normative data among a distressed sample. Continuing work in this area will help to refine the VLQ and improve the quality of process research in this area.

Keyword(s): ACT, Measurement, Values

Refining the VLQ for College Student Samples

BRANDON SANFORD (Missouri State University), Ann Branstetter-Rost (Missouri State University), David Houghton (Missouri State University), Michael Rosen (Missouri State University), Alyssa Byers (Missouri State University)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Stroshahl, & Wilson, 1999) is an empirically-based approach to therapy which posits that when ones life consists of value-congruent behavior, there is less psychological distress. A major impediment to outcome research is the lack of valid and reliable measures on the primary constructs, including valued living. The Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ; Wilson, Sandoz, Kitchens, & Roberts, 2010) is an early attempt to measure valued living. One psychometric concern of the measure appears to be the effect of value domains which individuals are not currently engaged. We hypothesize that the domains of parenting and occupation have inflated error variance among younger populations. Removing these items should increase construct and convergent validity. Participants (N = 143; ages 17 to 25) completed the VLQ, POMS, BDI, and BAI. Using the difference scoring method, the 10-item and 8-item VLQ was correlated to the BDI (r= -.225 and = -.84, respectively). In addition, convergent validity improved, in that the 8-item was more highly correlated with the Bulls-Eye (r=.34). The relationships to other measures were similar. Current studies are specifically examining the effect of being employed and being a parent on the measurement variance.


Scoring the VLQ: Variety May Not Be the Spice of Life

MICHAEL ROSEN (Missouri State University), Ann Branstetter-Rost (Missouri State University), Brandon Sanford (Missouri State University), Christopher C. Cushing (University of Kansas), David Houghton (Missouri State University)

The Valued Living Questionnaire (Wilson, et al., 2010) is a clinical tool used in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Stroshl, & Wilson, 1999) that provides guidance to clinicians regarding clients valued living. However, for researchers, it is becoming increasingly important to investigate and gather empirical data regarding valued living. Since the VLQ was not initially designed to serve this role, we must now work to evaluate the scoring methods and psychometric properties of the VLQ. In addition, for researchers, it would be greatly beneficial to have data concerning how the measure relates to clinical levels of psychological distress. In the current study, 143 college students completed the VLQ, BDI, BAI and POMS. We compared the outcomes using the composite scoring method (10 and 8-item version) (Wilson, et al, 2010), a difference score (10 and 8-item version) (Rost, 2010), and simply the behavioral concordance score. Results indicate that the difference scoring method (8-item) may be more effective at identifying psychological distress. Based upon the difference scores, results indicate that the numerical points of <12 and >28 represent clinical differences. Further work should investigate age-related differences and continue to explore the potential utility of these criterion scores.

The Valued Living Questionnaire: A Psychometic Evaluation Comparing Distressed and Normative Samples
SCOTT T. GAYNOR (Western Michigan University), David Denham Cotter (Western Michigan University), Marchion Hinton (Boys Town), Jean L. Clore (University of Illinois College of Medicine)
Abstract: The Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ; Wilson, 2002) was created to measure the extent to which an individual contacts his/her chosen values, an important construct in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999). The goal of the current study was to contribute to the psychometric evaluation of the VLQ by replicating and extending the first study of the VLQ’s psychometric properties conducted by Wilson, Sandoz, Kitchens, & Roberts (2010). In the present study, the VLQ was administered to a normative collegian sample (n = 171, M age = 19.32) and a distressed sample of collegians who were participating in clinical outcome studies (n = 111, M age = 21.14). With respect to reliability, good internal consistency was found with both the distressed and normative samples and across the VLQ Composite along with Importance and Consistency subscales (? = .72 – .79). Additionally, good 3-week test-retest reliability was observed, especially for the Composite (r = .74) and Importance subscale (r = 76). As would be expected, a somewhat lower test-retest reliability was found on the Consistency subscale (r = .67). Unlike Wilson et al., the factor structure was multi-dimensional (not unitary) and differed between the normative and distressed samples. However, work-education, family-parenting, and friends-recreation-self care appearing to cluster across samples. With respect to validity, the VLQ Composite and subscales were significantly higher among the normative than distressed samples (p < .001) and correlated positively (at a Bonferroni corrected ? level of .003) with measures of adaptive functioning, negatively with measures of maladaptive functioning, and negligibly with impression management and grade point. Overall, the data support the general reliability and validity of the VLQ for use with normative and distressed collegian samples and are generally consistent with the ACT model of psychopathology. Data from an additional 52 distressed collegians from a subsequent clinical outcome study have also been collected. These will be added to the dataset prior to the presentation at ABAI. Additional analyses examining the predictive validity of the VLQ will also be conducted.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh