Quality and quantity in the construction and validation of a psychological test for the assessment and selection of aspiring volunteer rescuers: the action-research in an Italian health association

Riccardo Sartori, Andrea Ceschi, Serena Cubico, Giuseppe Favretto


The paper reports the results of the qualitative actions and the quantitative operations carried out in order to construct and validate a psychological test specifically developed for the assessment and selection of aspiring volunteer rescuers in an Italian health association. The qualitative actions consisted of 4 focus groups with volunteer rescuers (from 10 to 12 people each, 45 in total) and 2 group discussions with the leaders of the association (6 leaders in total). They have led to a 20-item test measuring such psychological constructs as Attitude (9 items) and Reasoning (11 items). The quantitative operations involved a pilot sample of 54 volunteer rescuers and have been run at the moment by involving a test sample of 481 candidates volunteer rescuers. Descriptive statistical analyses, principal component analyses with Cronbach’s alphas and item–total correlations have shown good indexes of fit in relation to the theoretical model that generated the 20 items and the test on the whole, even if improvements can be achieved. The test will be continually administered over the years (at least two administrations per year) in order to meet the needs for assessment and selection of the association, so other samples will be involved, validity and reliability will be continually monitored and the test will be modified if necessary.


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