Multivariate base rates of potentially problematic scores on the NIH Toolbox Emotion Battery

Eric O. Ingram, Justin E. Karr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To examine the normal frequency of obtaining one or more scores considered potentially problematic based on normative comparisons when completing the NIH Toolbox Emotion Battery (NIHTB-EB). Method: Participants (N = 753; ages 18-85, 62.4% women, 66.4% non-Hispanic White) from the NIHTB norming study completed 17 scales of emotional functioning fitting into three subdomains (i.e., Negative Affect, Psychological Well-being, Social Satisfaction). Scores were considered potentially problematic if they were 1 SD above/below the mean, depending on the orientation of the scale, and cutoffs for 1.5 and 2 SD were also included for reference. Multivariate base rates quantified the rate at which participants obtained one or more potentially problematic scale or subdomain scores. Results: The portion of participants obtaining one or more potentially problematic scores on the NIHTB-EB scales and subdomains was 61.2 and 23.2%, respectively. Participants who were younger (i.e., 18-49) or had less education had higher rates of potentially problematic scores within specific subdomains. There were no significant differences by sex or race/ethnicity. Conclusions: Elevated scores on the NIHTB-EB were common in the normative sample and related to education/age. The multivariate base rates provided indicate obtaining one or more potentially problematic scores on the NIHTB-EB is broadly normal among adults, which may guard against overinterpreting a single score as clinically significant. These base rates should be considered in the context of other assessment findings, such as interviews, medical history or informant reports, to ensure that true emotional problems are not dismissed, and normal variation in emotional functioning is not pathologized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-463
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Emotions/emotional processing
  • Malingering/symptom validity testing
  • Norms/normative studies
  • Statistical methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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