Measuring knowledge of citizenship rights and responsibilities

E Thorin, P Browning, L Irvin
Research in Developmental Disabilities 1988, 9 (1): 85-92
The purpose of this study was to develop and standardize an instrument designed to assess the extent to which people with mental retardation demonstrate knowledge about citizenship rights and responsibilities. The test development phase included: (a) generating 83 items related to six content areas (i.e., human, civil, and legal rights; and moral, civic, and legal responsibilities), and (b) pilot testing these items with 236 members of self-advocacy groups for people with developmental disabilities. The resulting 30-item instrument was standardized with a sample of 391 self-advocates from 13 states. The psychometric properties of the standardized instrument included: a mean performance level of 77% correct; a mean item-total correlation of r-ij = .33; and an internal consistency reliability coefficient of r alpha = .82. The instrument's potential usefulness as a device for screening, diagnosis, and program evaluation was supported by its psychometric properties. Future studies could address the use of the instrument with the secondary school age population that faces the transition from school to community.

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