The purpose of the study was to establish reliability and validity of the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale (LFDRS) and to collect data on normative financial decision-making by older adults.
In research preliminary to this grant (2011-13 prior to NIJ funding) the researchers did the following:
- Created a new conceptual model for financial decisional abilities
- Developed a set of three new financial decision making tools; a 10-item screening measure, a 68-item comprehensive measure and a 13-item measure for key informants, and
- Conducted preliminary testing of the comprehensive measure
The purpose of the NIJ grant was to establish the essential psychometric characteristics of our tools, including reliability, validity, and generalizability. Specifically, in these three project years, they proposed to do the following:
- Collect large amounts of data in order to ensure reliability, validity, generalizability of the three new decisional ability measures
- Assess efficiency and usefulness of the screening measure and its implementation into criminal justice investigations, and
- Examine how neurocognitive performance measures correlate with the new decisional ability measures
Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale (LFDRS)
Participant Recruitment Procedures: A convenience sample of 200 independent functioning and community dwelling older adults was recruited. Inclusion criteria were being age 60 or older, living independently in the community, reporting the ability to be independent in independent activities of daily life and activities of daily life, being a native English speaker, and having the ability to do some basic word reading. After receiving approval from the Institutional Review Board, three methods were used to recruit participants. First, more than 100 participants were directly recruited from the Healthier Black Elders Participant Registry, which is part of the University of Michigan-Wayne State University NIA P30 Resource Center for Minority Aging Research. This required additional approval from the Healthier Black Elders Community Advisory Board (see Hall et al., 2016, for details on recruitment and retention of registry members). Second, the first author gave a number of presentations to groups of older adults across a wide variety of locations and settings, and participants were recruited at these events. And third, a snowballing technique was used.
When older adults were approached to participate in the study, either by phone or in person, they were asked to participate in an interview and a cognitive and financial testing session that would last approximately 2 hours. Financial decisions were considered significant if they fell into one of the following categories: (a) investment planning (retirement, insurance, portfolio balancing); (b) estate planning (changes in a will or beneficiaries, allowing someone access to a bank/investment account); (c) major purchase (home, car, renovations, etc.); or (d) giving a gift.
Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale or Short Scale (LFDSS)
De-identified anonymous data from 213 cases gathered from a variety of professionals was gathered to analyze the validity and reliability of the LFDSS and analyzed for validity and reliability (see publication list). Adults age 60 or older were eligible for the study if they were making, or had made in the previous 6 months, a significant financial decision (or group of related decisions; e.g., multiple gifts to the same person) and if they were being interviewed by an APS worker or other professional trained in administration of the LFDSS. After gaining the older adult's permission, the APS worker or other professional proceeded to collect the LFDSS information through an interview. There was no overlap of participants between APS and non-APS cases. Non-APS professionals administering the scale included elder law attorneys, financial planners, certified public accountants, social workers, and physicians. For all participants, age, education, and gender were collected, but personal or identifying information was not. Because the data were anonymous, the Wayne State University Institutional Review Board issued a concurrence of exemption. Although written informed consent was not required, the individuals being assessed received an information sheet that included the elements of a consent form.
Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale - Family and Friends (LFDRS-FF)
The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of a new informant-report scale of financial decision-making ability, the FF. This informant-report scale was adapted from the Rating Scale, which was administered as a structured interview with multiple-choice response options to assess decisional abilities for a significant financial transaction. Data from 150 family or friends of older adults who were knowledgeable regarding the financial decision of an older adult was gathered via telephone interviews.
For the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale (LFDRS) and Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale - Family and Friends (LFDRS-FF) surveys
This was a convenience sample recruited in three ways. First, approximately half the sample was directly recruited from the Healthier Black Elders Participant Registry, which is part of the University of Michigan-Wayne State University NIA P30 Resource Center for Minority Aging Research. Second, the PI gave a number of presentations to groups of older adults across a wide variety of locations and settings (e.g. senior centers, churches, independent living centers), and participants were recruited at these events. And third, a snowballing technique was used.
Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale or Short Scale (LFDSS) data
For complete description of methods, refer to: Peter A. Lichtenberg, Katja Ocepek-Welikson, Lisa J Ficker, Evan Gross, Analise Rahman-Filipiak and Jeanne A. Teresi (2017): Conceptual and Empirical Approaches to Financial Decision-making by Older Adults: Results from a Financial Decision-making Rating Scale, Clinical Gerontologist, DOI: 10.1080/07317115.2017.1367748
Elders age 60+ community-dwelling, independent in activities of daily living (ADLs), native English speakers, who have recently made or are making a major financial decision. Professionals who interact with older adults who are considering or are making a major financial decision (e.g., Adult Protective Services personnel, elder law attorneys, financial planners, law enforcement professionals). Family members and close friends who are privy to an older adult who has recently made or is making a major financial decision.
There are 3 data files included in this study.
LFDRS-Data-for-ICPSR.sav (200 cases, 109 variables)
This dataset includes demographic variables, contextual variables (financial situational awareness, psychological vulnerability, susceptibility to undue influence and financial exploitation), and a financial capacity assessment (the ability to communicate, understand, appreciate and provide rationale for a major financial decision).
LFDRS_Informant-Data-for-ICPSR.sav (150 cases, 45 variables)
This dataset includes variables on demographics, financial decisions, memory, and relationships.
LFDSS_Screener-Data-for-ICPSR.sav (213 cases, 24 variables)
This dataset includes variables on demographics and financial decisions and their effects.
Scales used include Wide Range Achievement Test 4-reading (WRAT IV-reading), Animal Naming, Bilateral Task-Oriented Training (BTOT), Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT), Boston Naming (short version), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Trails A and B, Stroop, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), and Independent Living Scales (money management subtest). The researchers developed the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale (LFDRS) questionnaire, which integrates the measurement of contextual variables with financial capacity assessment. Please see the accompanying study documentation for the questionnaire and the study's website for more information.