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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2010, Article ID 454218, 10 pages
Research Article

Development and Psychometric Validation of the Dementia Attitudes Scale

1School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MHC 1306, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
2Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, WI 54901, USA

Received 17 August 2009; Revised 2 December 2009; Accepted 11 February 2010

Academic Editor: Sara M. Debanne

Copyright © 2010 Melissa L. O'Connor and Susan H. McFadden. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study employed qualitative construct mapping and factor analysis to construct a scale to measure attitudes toward dementia. Five family caregivers, five professionals, and five college students participated in structured interviews. Qualitative analysis of the interviews led to a 46-item scale, which was reduced to 20 items following principal axis factoring with two different samples: college students ( 𝑁 = 3 0 2 ) and certified nursing assistant students ( 𝑁 = 1 4 5 ). Confirmatory factor analysis was then conducted with another sample of college students ( 𝑁 = 1 5 7 ). The final scale, titled the Dementia Attitudes Scale (DAS), essentially had a two-factor structure; the factors were labeled “dementia knowledge” and “social comfort.” Total-scale Cronbach's alphas ranged 0.83–0.85. Evidence for convergent validity was promising, as the DAS correlated significantly with scales that measured ageism and attitudes toward disabilities (range of correlations = 0.44–0.55; mean correlation = 0 . 5 0 ). These findings demonstrate the reliability and validity of the DAS, supporting its use as a research tool.