Efficient assessment of social problem-solving abilities in medical and rehabilitation settings: a Rasch analysis of the Social Problem-Solving Inventory-Revised. Academic Article uri icon


  • The Social Problem Solving Inventory-Revised Scale (SPSI-R) has been shown to be a reliable and valid self-report measure of social problem-solving abilities. In busy medical and rehabilitation settings, a brief and efficient screening version with psychometric properties similar to the SPSI-R would have numerous benefits including decreased patient and caregiver assessment burden and administration/scoring time. Thus, the aim of the current study was to identify items from the SPSI-R that would provide for a more efficient assessment of global social problem-solving abilities. This study consisted of three independent samples: 121 persons in low-vision rehabilitation (M age=71 years old, SD=15.53), 301 persons living with diabetes mellitus (M age=58, and SD=14.85), and 131 family caregivers of persons with severe disabilities (M age=56 years old, SD=12.15). All persons completed a version of the SPSI-R, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Using Rasch scaling of the SPSI-R short-form, we identified a subset of 10 items that reflected the five-component model of social problem solving. The 10 items were separately validated on the sample of persons living with diabetes mellitus and the sample of family caregivers of persons with severe disabilities. Results indicate that the efficient 10-item version, analyzed separately for all three samples, demonstrated good reliability and validity characteristics similar to the established SPSI-R short form. The 10-item version of the SPSI-R represents a brief, effective way in which clinicians and researchers in busy health care settings can quickly assess global problem-solving abilities and identify those persons at-risk for complicated adjustment. Implications for the assessment of social problem-solving abilities are discussed.

published proceedings

  • J Clin Psychol

author list (cited authors)

  • Dreer, L. E., Berry, J., Rivera, P., Snow, M., Elliott, T. R., Miller, D., & Little, T. D.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Dreer, Laura E||Berry, Jack||Rivera, Patricia||Snow, Marsha||Elliott, Timothy R||Miller, Doreen||Little, Todd D

publication date

  • July 2009