Terri Smith

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Karlene Ball, John Bruni, Daniel Roenker


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Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


A self-report instrument was designed to measure the visual difficulties older individuals experience while performing everyday activities such as driving and reading. Based on previous research, eight factors of vision were incorporated into the instrument and examined; disability glare, acuity, depth perception, peripheral vision, color sensitivity, visual processing speed, and visual search.

The 33-item Visual Activities Questionnaire (VAQ) tapped these eight factors of vision as measured by reliable composites of various items. Validity of the instrument was determined in two ways. First, the eight composites of the VAQ were correlated with actual eye health measures. This resulted in reasonable validity given the complexity of self-report judgments about health and behavior problems. Second, this eight factor structure model was imposed on another sample of older individuals' responses using the LISREL program to determine whether the structure was generalizable.

The results show a good overall fit between the model produced by Sample 1 and the data produced by Sample 2. The reliable and reasonably valid VAQ will enable researchers, clinicians, and doctors to more easily examine the various visual problems experienced by the aging population.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences