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Velma McBride Murry

Cultural Evaluation of Questionnaires

Posted on February 28, 2006

Velma McBride Murry (bio) describes how the cultural appropriateness of measurement items is evaluated.


Because of the importance of the scientific nature of what we do, the level of flexibility for us primarily centers around them helping us understand the cultural appropriateness of the way certain questions may be worded in items in questionnaires.

So we would bring in 10 families to the center. They'll go through all of our questionnaires that have not already been culturally evaluated, and they'll go through each of the items and rate them on a scale of 1 to 3 on how culturally appropriate are these particular items. Then once we see which ones have received very low rating as it relates to cultural appropriateness, we will say to them, 'How would you like to reword this? What makes sense?' How can we restructure this such that it makes sense in the community from which these families may reside?

They will say, 'You may not want to use these words.' For example, if we're having a preventive intervention, they will say to us, 'Don't say classes because that has an educational school component. Some of these families may not have necessarily had very good experiences in school settings, and maybe you should call it Family Night Out or Health and Wellness in Families, but structure it in a way such that the logos and the names of the project really would be something that these families would gravitate toward.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher in April 2005.


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