Using Regression Equations Built From Summary Data in the Psychological Assessment of the Individual Case: Extension to Multiple Regression

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Abstract

Regression equations have many useful roles in psychological assessment. Moreover, there is a large reservoir of published data that could be used to build regression equations; these equations could then be employed to test a wide variety of hypotheses concerning the functioning of individual cases. This resource is currently underused because (a) not all psychologists are aware that regression equations can be built not only from raw data but also using only basic summary data for a sample, and (b) the computations involved are tedious and prone to error. In an attempt to overcome these barriers, Crawford and Garthwaite (2007) provided methods to build and apply simple linear regression models using summary statistics as data. In the present study, we extend this work to set out the steps required to build multiple regression models from sample summary statistics and the further steps required to compute the associated statistics for drawing inferences concerning an individual case. We also develop, describe, and make available a computer program that implements these methods. Although there are caveats associated with the use of the methods, these need to be balanced against pragmatic considerations and against the alternative of either entirely ignoring a pertinent data set or using it informally to provide a clinical “guesstimate.” Upgraded versions of earlier programs for regression in the single case are also provided; these add the point and interval estimates of effect size developed in the present article.

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