Psychometric properties of virtual reality vignette performance measures: a novel approach for assessing adolescents' social competency skills

Health Educ Res. 2005 Feb;20(1):61-70. doi: 10.1093/her/cyg103. Epub 2004 Jul 14.


This study examined the psychometric properties of performance measures for three novel, interactive virtual reality vignette exercises developed to assess social competency skills of at-risk adolescents. Performance data were collected from 117 African-American male 15-17 year olds. Data for 18 performance measures were obtained, based on adolescents' interaction with a provocative virtual teenage character. Twelve of the 18 performance measures loaded on two factors corresponding to emotional control and interpersonal communication skills, providing support for their factorial validity. The internal reliability coefficients for the two multi-item measures were 0.88 and 0.91, respectively. Additional analyses with established measures of three psychosocial factors (beliefs supporting aggression, aggressive conflict-resolution style and hostility) and behavioral criteria (e.g., self-reported behavioral misconduct and drug use) provided limited support for the construct and criterion-related validity of the performance measures. Study findings suggest that the virtual reality vignette exercises may represent a promising approach for assessing adolescents' social competency skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Social Behavior*
  • User-Computer Interface*