Measuring dispositional optimism in student Veterans: An item response theory analysis

Emre Umucu, Jessica M. Brooks, Beatrice Lee, Kanako Iwanaga, Jia Rung Wu, Ada Chen, Fong Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The psychometric properties of the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R) have been established among college students, yet psychometric evidence is lacking for a sample of student Veterans in postsecondary education. Aims: The purpose of this study was to evaluate psychometric properties of the LOT-R for the assessment of dispositional optimism in student Veterans by using classical test theory (CTT) in conjunction with item response theory (IRT). Method: A sample of 205 student Veterans were recruited from universities across the United States. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to test the unidimensionality of the LOT-R. A polychotomous IRT model using graded response model (GRM) was estimated. Reliability and concurrent validity of the LOT-R were tested. Results: CTT in conjunction with IRT validated that the LOT-R is a psychometrically sound unidimensional instrument for assessing the levels of dispositional optimism in student Veterans. The LOT-R was found to be associated with hope, resilience, PERMA, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety in the theoretically expected directions. The internal consistency reliability coefficient was computed to be.86. Conclusions: Given its reliability and validity and applicability among this specific population, clinicians, educators, and researchers might use the LOT-R to assess and monitor dispositional optimism among student Veterans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-597
Number of pages8
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 2

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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