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Integrating Improved Assessments of Financial Judgment: Conceptual and Measurement

NCJ Number
Peter A. Lichtenberg
Date Published
August 2018
12 pages
Since the major factor in determining whether older adults have been victims of financial exploitation is the integrity of the older adult's financial judgment and decisionmaking, the purpose of this grant project was to determine the essential psychometric characteristics of the grantee's previously developed tools for determining an elder adult's abilities in financial decisionmaking.
Prior to the current project, the grantee had developed a set of three new financial decisionmaking tools: 1) a 10-item screening measure; 2) a 68-item comprehensive measure; and 3) a 13-item measure for key informants. Prior to initiating the current grant project, preliminary testing of the comprehensive measure was conducted. The focus of the current project was to determine the reliability, validity, and generalizability of these tools. This involved collecting large amounts of data, assessing the efficiency and usefulness of the screening measure and its implementation in criminal investigations, and an examination of how neurocognitive performance measures correlated with the new decisional ability measures. The focus of the testing was the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale (LFDRS) for use in testing an elderly adults financial decisionmaking capabilities and the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale (LFDSS) for use by adult protective service staff in interpreting an elderly client's responses on the LFDRS. The testing determined that the LFDRS is reliable and supported the conceptual model in determining an elderly adult's ability to make reasoned financial decisions. In addition, the LFDSS showed excellent internal consistency and clinical utility properties. A full scale and short form of the LFDRS are provided for clinicians to use in financial capacity assessment.