An Analysis of the Connectedness to Nature Scale Based on Item Response Theory.
ABSTRACT: The Connectedness to Nature Scale (CNS) is used as a measure of the subjective cognitive connection between individuals and nature. However, to date, it has not been analyzed at the item level to confirm its quality. In the present study, we conduct such an analysis based on Item Response Theory. We employed data from previous studies using the Spanish-language version of the CNS, analyzing a sample of 1008 participants. The results show that seven items presented appropriate indices of discrimination and difficulty, in addition to a good fit. The remaining six have inadequate discrimination indices and do not present a good fit. A second study with 321 participants shows that the seven-item scale has adequate levels of reliability and validity. Therefore, it would be appropriate to use a reduced version of the scale after eliminating the items that display inappropriate behavior, since they may interfere with research results on connectedness to nature.
Project description:The Connectedness to Nature Scale has been used in many different countries and settings. However, no one has yet tested the equivalence of these measures. Equivalence of measures has been the subject of much research in recent years, due to the importance of measuring in the same way when comparing between different groups. The present work studied the differential item functioning (DIF) of the CNS in a Spanish group and a North American group of respondents, using two different methods of detecting DIF. It also evaluated the overall equivalence of the scale. The results reveal differential functioning in most items, and only configural invariance is given. Thus, we suggest a reappraisal of the scale when comparing results from different countries since otherwise the conclusions drawn might be incorrect.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States has exacerbated a number of mental health conditions and problems related to prolonged social isolation. While COVID-19 has led to greater loneliness and a lack of social connectedness, little is known about who are the most affected and how they are impacted. Therefore, we performed a Latent Class Analysis using items from two scales - the UCLA Loneliness Scale and the Social Connectedness Scale - to characterize different experiences of loneliness and connectedness, examine their relationship with mental health and substance use symptoms, including depression, anxiety, drinking, and drug use.<h4>Methods</h4>Data were drawn from an anonymous one-time online survey examining the mental health of 1008 young adults (18-35 years old) during COVID-19. A latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to observe and identify classes based on responses to loneliness and connectedness scale items, and to examine the existence of subgroups among this young adult population.<h4>Results</h4>We identified a 4-class model of loneliness and connectedness: (1) Lonely and Disconnected - highest probabilities in items of loneliness and disconnectedness, (2) Moderately Lonely and Disconnected - adaptive levels of some isolation and disconnection during COVID-19, (3) Ambivalent Feelings - displaying negative responses in particular to negatively-worded items while simultaneously affirming positively worded items, and (4) Connected and Not Lonely - lowest probabilities in items of loneliness and disconnectedness.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Key findings include (1) the delineation of classes by levels of loneliness and connectedness showcasing differential mental health and substance use symptoms, (2) the utility of item-level evaluation with LCA in determining specific classes of people in need of outreach and intervention, and (3) the promise of social connection to bolster resilience in young adults.
Project description:Testing item-level fit is important in scale development to guide item revision/deletion. Many item-level fit indices have been proposed in literature, yet none of them were directly applicable to an important family of models, namely, the higher order item response theory (HO-IRT) models. In this study, chi-square-based fit indices (i.e., Yen's Q 1, McKinley and Mill's G 2, Orlando and Thissen's S-X 2, and S-G 2) were extended to HO-IRT models. Their performances are evaluated via simulation studies in terms of false positive rates and correct detection rates. The manipulated factors include test structure (i.e., test length and number of dimensions), sample size, level of correlations among dimensions, and the proportion of misfitting items. For misfitting items, the sources of misfit, including the misfitting item response functions, and misspecifying factor structures were also manipulated. The results from simulation studies demonstrate that the S-G 2 is promising for higher order items.
Project description:No studies have compared the 2-factor structures of Wong's and Post's versions of the short-form Stroke-Specific Quality of Life (i.e., 12-item SSQOL) scale. This study compared the construct validity of 2 short-forms of the 12-item-SSQOL (not the 12-domain-SSQOL).Data were obtained from a previous validation study of the original 49-item SSQOL in 263 patients. Construct validity was tested by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to examine whether the two-factor structure, including psychosocial and physical domains, was supported in both versions. The CFA tested the data-model fit by indices: chi-square ?2/df ratio, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), comparative fit index (CFI), nonnormative fit index (NNFI), standard root mean square residual (SRMR), and parsimony normed fit index (PNFI). Item factor loadings (cutoffs: .50) were examined. Model fit was compared using Akaike information criterion (AIC) and consistent AIC (i.e., CAIC) values.All model fit indices for Post's version fell within expected ranges: ?2/df ratio = 2.02, RMSEA = 0.05, CFI = 0.97, NNFI = 0.97, SRMR = 0.06, and PNFI = 0.76. In the psychosocial domain, the item factor loadings ranged from 0.46 to 0.63. In the physical domain, all items (except the language and vision items) had acceptable factor loadings (0.68 to 0.88). However, in Wong's version, none of the model indices met the criteria for good fit. In model fit comparisons, Post's version had smaller AIC and CAIC values than did Wong's version.All fit indices supported Post's version, but not Wong's version. The construct validity of Post's version with a 2-factor structure was confirmed, and this version of the 12-item SSQOL is recommended.
Project description:Calls for a reconnection to nature and the biosphere have been growing louder over the last decades. Cultural landscapes are rapidly changing, posing a threat to ecosystems and biodiversity, but also to human-nature connections. Human-nature connectedness may be a potential lever to shift the unsustainable trajectory that we are currently proceeding, but is also negatively influenced by it. To concretize the call for a reconnection to nature, we used the leverage points perspective on five empirical case studies with focus on human-nature connectedness. Based on the synthesis of our yearlong work, in this perspective paper, we propose four leverage points to foster a sustainability transformation: (1) maintain and enhance the structural diversity of landscapes, (2) maintain and enhance economically and ecologically sustainable small-scale agriculture, (3) strengthen sense of place and (4) strengthen sense of agency in actors. Intervening in these leverage points could be effective to foster human-nature connectedness and ultimately contribute towards a sustainable trajectory. We further argue that the interconnection between leverage points is equally important as their systemic depth.
Project description:Valid and reliable measurement of an individual's knowledge and risk perception is pivotal to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions aimed at preventing cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The recently developed Attitudes and Beliefs about Cardiovascular Disease (ABCD) knowledge and risk questionnaire is shown to be valid in England. In this study, we evaluated the psychometric properties of the modified and Dutch (Flemish)-translated ABCD questionnaire using both the classical test and item response theory (IRT) analysis. We conducted a community-based survey among 525 adults in Antwerp city, Belgium. We assessed the item- and scale-level psychometric properties and validity indices of the questionnaire. Parameters of IRT, item scalability, monotonicity, item difficulty and discrimination, and item fit statistics were evaluated. Furthermore, exploratory and confirmatory factorial validity, and internal consistency measures were explored. Descriptive statistics showed that both the knowledge and risk scale items have sufficient variation to differentiate individuals' level of knowledge and risk perception. The overall homogeneity of the knowledge and risk subscales was within the acceptable range (> 0.3). The exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of the risk scale supported a three-factor solution corresponding to risk perception (F1), perceived benefits and intention to change physical activity (F2), and perceived benefit and intention to change healthy dietary habit (F3). The two parametric logistic (2-PL) and rating scale models showed that the item infit and outfit values for knowledge and risk subscales were within the acceptable range (0.6 to 1.4) for most of the items. In conclusion, this study investigated the Dutch (Flemish) version of the ABCD questionnaire has good psychometric properties to assess CVD related knowledge and risk perception in the adult population. Based on the factor loadings and other psychometric properties, we suggested a shorter version, which has comparable psychometric properties.
Project description:This study aimed to examine if autonomy-connectedness, capacity for self-governance under the condition of connectedness, would mediate sex differences in symptoms of various mental disorders (depression, anxiety, eating disorders, antisocial personality disorder).Participants (N = 5,525) from a representative community sample in the Netherlands filled out questionnaires regarding the variables under study.Autonomy-connectedness (self-awareness, SA; sensitivity to others, SO; capacity for managing new situations, CMNS) fully mediated the sex differences in depression and anxiety, and partly in eating disorder -(drive for thinness, bulimia, and body dissatisfaction) and anti-social personality disorder characteristics. The mediations followed the expected sex-specific patterns. SO related positively to the internalizing disorder indices, and negatively to the anti-social personality disorder. SA related negatively to all disorder indices; and CMNS to all internalizing disorder indices, but positively to the anti-social personality disorder.Treatment of depression, anxiety, but also eating disorders and the antisocial personality disorder may benefit from a stronger focus on autonomy strengthening.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The urban environment has been criticized for promoting 'nature-deficit' and 'child-nature disconnectedness'. Keeping in mind the importance of nature exposure and its extensive health benefits, many environmental programs around the world hope to (re)connect children with nature. To evaluate the effectiveness of such efforts, valid tools to measure Connectedness to Nature (CN) are needed but do not exist today, especially for use with pre-schoolers. METHODS:The original CN Index was modified and tested among the Parents of Preschool Children (CNI-PPC) in an urban setting (Hong Kong) for its internal consistency (n = 299) and external validity (n = 194). The 'Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire' (SDQ) was chosen for divergent and convergent analysis. Conventional recommendations for test adaptation and translation were used. RESULTS:Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed that the 16-item scale adequately captured four major dimensions: enjoyment of nature, empathy for nature, responsibility toward nature, and awareness of nature (Cronbach's ? were respectively .86, .87, .75 and .80). When tested against the SDQ, a validated measure for child psychological functioning, and identification of children's problem behaviours, three CNI-PPC factors influenced the SDQ outcomes: (1) the more enjoyment of nature children displayed the less overall distress and impairment they exhibited (? = -.64); (2) greater responsibility toward nature in children was associated with less hyperactivity (? = -.50), fewer behavioural and peer difficulties (? = -.62 and ? = -.65 respectively) and improved prosocial behaviour (? = .77); (3) the more aware children were of nature, the less emotional difficulties they exhibited (? = -.51). The variance explained was large (range R2 = .42 to .80). CONCLUSIONS:Thus, CNI-PPC factors have meaningful and substantive associations with the strengths and difficulties parents perceive in their children. This indicates that the CNI-PPC is a valid and reliable instrument to measure CN at an age when children cannot respond for themselves. Further, this simple tool can help researchers/practitioners to better understand how connectedness to nature affects child psychological functioning and wellbeing. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02715544. Registered 8 March 2016.
Project description:PURPOSE:With the BODY-Q, one can assess outcomes, such as satisfaction with appearance, in weight loss and body contouring patients using multiple scales. All scales can be used independently in any given combination or order. Currently, the BODY-Q cannot provide overall appearance scores across scales that measure a similar super-ordinate construct (i.e., overall appearance), which could improve the scales' usefulness as a benchmarking tool and improve the comprehensibility of patient feedback. We explored the possibility of establishing overall appearance scores, by applying a bifactor model to the BODY-Q appearance scales. METHODS:In a bifactor model, questionnaire items load onto both a primary specific factors and a general factor, such as satisfaction with appearance. The international BODY-Q validation patient sample (n?=?734) was used to fit a bifactor model to the appearance domain. Factor loadings, fit indices, and correlation between bifactor appearance domain and satisfaction with body scale were assessed. RESULTS:All items loaded on the general factor of their corresponding domain. In the appearance domain, all items demonstrated adequate item fit to the model. All scales had satisfactory fit to the bifactor model (RMSEA 0.045, CFI 0.969, and TLI 0.964). The correlation between the appearance domain summary scores and satisfaction with body scale scores was found to be 0.77. DISCUSSION:We successfully applied a bifactor model to BODY-Q data with good item and model fit indices. With this method, we were able to produce reliable overall appearance scores which may improve the interpretability of the BODY-Q while increasing flexibility.
Project description:Research suggests that contact with nature can be beneficial, for example leading to improvements in mood, cognition, and health. A distinct but related idea is the personality construct of subjective nature connectedness, a stable individual difference in cognitive, affective, and experiential connection with the natural environment. Subjective nature connectedness is a strong predictor of pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors that may also be positively associated with subjective well-being. This meta-analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between nature connectedness and happiness. Based on 30 samples (n = 8523), a fixed-effect meta-analysis found a small but significant effect size (r = 0.19). Those who are more connected to nature tended to experience more positive affect, vitality, and life satisfaction compared to those less connected to nature. Publication status, year, average age, and percentage of females in the sample were not significant moderators. Vitality had the strongest relationship with nature connectedness (r = 0.24), followed by positive affect (r = 0.22) and life satisfaction (r = 0.17). In terms of specific nature connectedness measures, associations were the strongest between happiness and inclusion of nature in self (r = 0.27), compared to nature relatedness (r = 0.18) and connectedness to nature (r = 0.18). This research highlights the importance of considering personality when examining the psychological benefits of nature. The results suggest that closer human-nature relationships do not have to come at the expense of happiness. Rather, this meta-analysis shows that being connected to nature and feeling happy are, in fact, connected.