Evaluation of the factor structure of the Adult Manifest Anxiety Scale – Elderly version (AMAS-E) in community dwelling older adult New Zealanders

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New Zealand Psychological Society
Background: The measurement of anxiety in older adults is problematic due to insufficient evidence of content and discriminant validity for existing anxiety measures used with older adult populations. The Adult Manifest Anxiety Scale - Elderly Version (AMAS-E) is a measure of anxiety developed specifically for older adults. However, there has been limited psychometric data published to enable clinicians to evaluate its appropriateness for older adult populations. This study provides information on the validity and clinical utility of the AMAS-E within a New Zealand population. Method: 203 community dwelling older adult New Zealanders responded. Three competing models were trialled using confirmatory factor analysis. Convergent and discriminant validity were evaluated between the AMAS-E and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Results: Variable internal consistency was observed for the subscales of the AMAS-E. Reasonable fit was observed for both the higher-order and correlated AMAS-E models. However the Lie subscale showed no significant relationship with the other factors, and consequently was removed. Model fit worsened, however the model was retained as it was more theoretically plausible and justifiable statistically. Correlations between the AMAS-E and the HADS revealed moderate convergent but poor discriminant validity. Conclusion: The factor structure of the AMAS-E was not strongly supported. The observed limited validity of this anxiety measure for older adults in its present form, suggests the need for a revision and its clinical use is cautioned.
New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 2016, 45 (3)