Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2010

Journal or Book Title

Ethnicity and Health

Volume

15

Issue

2

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) is an assessment for adolescent health-risk behaviors and exposures, supported by the World Health Organization. Although already widely implemented - and intended for youth assessment across diverse ethnic and national contexts - no reliability data have yet been reported for GSHS-based assessment in any ethnicity or country-specific population. This study reports test-retest reliability for GSHS content adapted for a female adolescent ethnic Fijian study sample in Fiji.

DESIGN:

We adapted and translated GSHS content to assess health-risk behaviors as part of a larger study investigating the impact of social transition on ethnic Fijian secondary schoolgirls in Fiji. In order to evaluate the performance of this measure for our ethnic Fijian study sample (n=523), we examined its test-retest reliability with kappa coefficients, % agreement, and prevalence estimates in a sub-sample (n=81). Reliability among strata defined by topic, age, and language was also examined.

RESULTS:

Average agreement between test and retest was 77%, and average Cohen's kappa was 0.47. Mean kappas for questions from core modules about alcohol use, tobacco use, and sexual behavior were substantial, and higher than those for modules relating to other risk behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although test-retest reliability of responses within this country-specific version of GSHS content was substantial in several topical domains for this ethnic Fijian sample, only fair reliability for the module assessing dietary behaviors and other individual items suggests that population-specific psychometric evaluation is essential to interpreting language and country-specific GSHS data.

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