How to Report Spearman’s Correlation in APA Format


Spearman’s rank correlation is used to measure the correlation between two ranked variables. (e.g. rank of a student’s math exam score vs. rank of their science exam score in a class).

We use the following general structure to report Spearman’s correlation in APA format:

Spearman’s rank correlation was computed to assess the relationship between [variable 1] and [variable 2].

 

There was a [negative or positive] correlation between the two variables, r(df) = [r value], p = [p-value].

Keep the following in mind when reporting Spearman’s rank correlation in APA format:

  • Round the p-value to three decimal places.
  • Round the value for r to two decimal places.
  • Drop the leading 0 for the p-value and r (e.g. use .77, not 0.77)
  • The degrees of freedom (df) is calculated as N – 2.

The following examples show how to report Spearman’s rank correlation in APA format in various scenarios.

Example 1: Math Score vs. Science Score

A teacher collected data for the rank of math scores and the rank of science scores for 30 students in her class. She found Spearman’s rank correlation between the two variables to be 0.48 with a corresponding p-value of 0.043.

Here is how to report Spearman’s rank correlation in APA format:

Spearman’s rank correlation was computed to assess the relationship between math scores and science scores.

 

There was a positive correlation between the two variables, r(28) = .48, p = .043.

Example 2: Points vs. Rebounds

A sports scientist collected data for the rank of points scored vs. rebounds collected by 50 professional basketball players. He found Spearman’s rank correlation between the two variables to be -0.27 with a corresponding p-value of 0.026.

Here is how to report Spearman’s rank correlation in APA format:

Spearman’s rank correlation was computed to assess the relationship between points scored and rebounds collected.

 

There was a negative correlation between the two variables, r(48) = -.27, p = .026.

Example 3: Hours Worked vs. Productivity

A company collected data for the total hours worked vs. overall productivity of 25 employees. They found Spearman’s rank correlation between the two variables to be 0.57 with a corresponding p-value of 0.039.

Here is how to report Spearman’s rank correlation in APA format:

Spearman’s rank correlation was computed to assess the relationship between hours worked and overall productivity.

 

There was a positive correlation between the two variables, r(23) = .57, p = .039.

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to report other statistical tests and procedures in APA format:

How to Report Cronbach’s Alpha (With Examples)
How to Report t-Test Results (With Examples)
How to Report Regression Results (With Examples)
How to Report ANOVA Results (With Examples)

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