Interviewing People with Mental Retardation: Validity and Reliability Strategies


  • John Dattilo
  • Gail Hoge
  • Sharon M. Malley


Mental Retardation, Interviewing, Validity, Reliability


In this paper we document steps taken to address the reliability and validity of responses associated with an interview instrument, the TRAIL Leisure Assessment Battery (TLAB) for people with cognitive impairments. One hundred adults with mental retardation and 100 adults identified as their parents or caregivers were interviewed about (a) their current and past participation associated with 132 recreation activities, (b) the quality of their participation as indicated by questions concerning enjoyment, choice, socialization and assistance, and (c) constraints to the leisure participation. In addition to documenting the actions taken to enhance the validity and reliability of the responses, measurement procedures employed to assess reliability are described. The examples of procedures provided in this paper support recommendations that professionals adopt a blend of strategies to increase confidence in the validity and reliability of responses obtained from evaluation, assessment, and research instruments.





Research Papers