Date of Award

Summer 6-19-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Ellis

Second Advisor

Dr. Elisabeth Burgess

Third Advisor

Dr. Yong Tai Wang

Abstract

Losing confidence in the ability to maintain balance can be more debilitating than a fall. Therefore, considering the importance of measuring balance confidence, the purpose of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the ABC-6, a shortened version of the ABC-16, among diverse older adults. Participants were 251 diverse (72.1% African Americans, 62.5% low-income, 61% low-education) older adults (M age = 71.2 years, SD = 8.9). Participants volunteered for a falls risk screening which assessed multiple falls risk factors and balance confidence. The ABC-6 had excellent internal consistency reliability, substantial intraclass correlations, significant moderate to large correlations with physical activity, mobility, balance, and total falls risk, the ability to discriminate between fallers and nonfallers, and it was the only significant predictor of total falls risk. The ABC-6 was a valid and reliable measure of balance confidence and is a suitable measure for use among diverse older adults.

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