MBA Project’s Psychometric Measures

How do we measure the impact of our programs? The scales and psychometric measures used by MBA to evaluate the subjective effects and impact of our program on youth have been specifically chosen and reviewed by MBA’s Research Advisory Council to meet a range of criteria including:

  1. Validated scientific instrument
  2. Specifically validated and/or relevant for adolescent youth
  3. Appropriate reading level
  4. Cultural relevance

The information below provides a summary of each scale and references for their origins. Note that we do not use all of these measures in all sites and some program sites use other alternative methods of program evaluation, especially when groups are “open” and the amount of participant transition from one session to the next is too high for pre- and post- program evaluation to be effective. In those program sites, we use shorter more regularly distributed survey instruments.


Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)

The Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen et al., 1983) was chosen given that it is a brief, simple to administer self-report scale that explores appraisement of stressful situations in the prior month of the participant’s daily life. Further, questions from the PSS are intentionally general and not specific to any sub-population. The PSS was designed for people with at least a junior high school education. The original version (Cohen et al., 1983) had 14 questions; however, the PSS-10 (Cohen & Williamson, 1988), a 10-question condensed version, was shown to have a higher internal reliability (α = .78) and tighter factor structure than did the original PSS. Thus, the PSS-10 is being used in the proposed study due to its higher validity and quality, and its reduced time to complete.


Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS)

The Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (Brown & Ryan, 2003) is a 15-item self-report assessment measuring presence and absence of attention and awareness to experience in the present moment. The MAAS was selected based on research indicating a high internal consistency and test/retest reliability on samples of college students and adults (Brown & Ryan, 2003).


Healthy Self-Regulation scale (HSR)

The Healthy Self-Regulation scale (West, 2008) is a set of items that originated as a subscale of the Mindfulness Thinking and Acting Scale for Adolescence (MTASA). The MTASA is an adolescent mindfulness measure developed by West (2008). West suggests that these 12 items may be used as an independent, self-report measure (A. West, personal communication, December 7, 2008). When the items were extracted from the MTASA and examined, West found that the HSR scale had good internal consistency and positive correlations with a variety of wellness indicators. In addition to this instrument’s strong internal consistency and positive correlations with wellness indicators, West (2008) found the HSR to have strong test-retest reliability (0.84). The HSR items were chosen for use as a scale in the proposed research based on the measure’s short length, readability, and hypothesized relationship to healthy self-regulation. Self-regulation has been associated, in research conducted within youth populations, with the ability to regulate substance use, sexual behavior, and academic achievement (Miller & Byrnes, 2001; Raffaelli & Crockett, 2003; Wills, Sandy, & Yaeger, 2002).


Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE)

The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) is a 10-item questionnaire that uses a 4-point Likert scale (1, 2, 3, 4; Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree) to answer each item. The RSE was developed and tested on 5,024 high school juniors and seniors from 10 randomly selected schools in New York State (Rosenberg, 1965). A score from 0-30 is achievable, with higher scores indicating higher self-esteem.


Teen Conflict Survey Impulsiveness Subscale (IMP)

The impulsiveness subscale of the Teen Conflict Survey (Bosworth & Espelage, 1995) is a 4-item questionnaire that uses a 5-point Likert scale (a, b, c, d, e; Never, Seldom, Sometimes, Often, Always) to measure the frequency of impulsive behaviors. This survey was developed and tested on middle school students grades 6-8 (Bosworth & Espelage, 1995). A score from 5-25 is achievable, with higher scores indicating higher impulsiveness.


Attitude Toward Conflict Scale (ATV)

The Attitude Toward Conflict Scale (Lam, 1989) is an 8-item questionnaire that uses a 4-point Likert scale (1, 2, 3, 4; Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree) to measure attitudes toward violence in response to conflicts. This survey was developed and tested on sixth grade students in an urban setting. A score from 8-32 is obtainable, with higher scores indicating more positive attitudes toward using violence to resolve conflicts.


Quality of Life (QOL)

The Vitality Subscale of the Short Form-36 Quality of Life scale (MOS-36) is a 9-item questionnaire that uses a 6-point Likert scale (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; All of the time, Most of the time, A good bit of the time, Some of the time, A little of the time, None of the time) to measure general vitality and psychological well-being. This survey was developed out of the original medical outcome survey from the RAND Corporation.


School Connectedness Scale (CHKS)

 The measure is based on participant responses to five statements using a 5-point Likert scale (1,2,3,4,5; strongly-agree to strongly-disagree). Questions focus on feeling close to people at school, part of the school, happiness at school, teacher relationships and school fairness. School connectedness has been shown to be directly related to academic achievement (McNeely, Nonnemaker, & Blum, 2002).  The construct of school connectedness has been shown to consist of 3 elements: connectedness to adults in schools, connectedness to peers, and connectedness to the school (Karcher & Lee, 2002). Overall connection to Pro-Social Institutions is also protective of violent and delinquent activity and substance abuse.


The Mind Body Awareness Project | | Oakland, CA
Mindfulness & Life Skills for At-Risk Youth

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