Estimation of the biserial correlation and its sampling variance for use in meta-analysis

Perke Jacobs*, Wolfgang Viechtbauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)
519 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Meta-analyses are often used to synthesize the findings of studies examining the correlational relationship between two continuous variables. When only dichotomous measurements are available for one of the two variables, the biserial correlation coefficient can be used to estimate the product-moment correlation between the two underlying continuous variables. Unlike the point-biserial correlation coefficient, biserial correlation coefficients can therefore be integrated with product-moment correlation coefficients in the same meta-analysis. The present article describes the estimation of the biserial correlation coefficient for meta-analytic purposes and reports simulation results comparing different methods for estimating the coefficient's sampling variance. The findings indicate that commonly employed methods yield inconsistent estimates of the sampling variance across a broad range of research situations. In contrast, consistent estimates can be obtained using two methods that appear to be unknown in the meta-analytic literature. A variance-stabilizing transformation for the biserial correlation coefficient is described that allows for the construction of confidence intervals for individual coefficients with close to nominal coverage probabilities in most of the examined conditions. Copyright (C) 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-180
Number of pages20
JournalResearch Synthesis Methods
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Keywords

  • biserial correlation
  • bias
  • sampling variance
  • variance-stabilizing transformation
  • confidence intervals
  • meta-analysis
  • TETRACHORIC CORRELATION-COEFFICIENT
  • POLYSERIAL CORRELATION-COEFFICIENT
  • MAXIMUM-LIKELIHOOD-ESTIMATION
  • CONTINUOUS-VARIABLES
  • PROBABLE-ERROR
  • DEPRESSION
  • INSOMNIA
  • DICHOTOMIZATION
  • ASSOCIATION
  • ANXIETY

Cite this