Differential Item Functioning in a Spanish Translation of the PTSD Checklist

Detection and Evaluation of Impact

Published in: Psychological Assessment, v. 14, no. 1, Mar. 14, 2002, p. 50-59.

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2002

by Grant N. Marshall, Maria Orlando Edelen

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This study demonstrated the application of an innovative item response theory (IRT) based approach to evaluating measurement equivalence, comparing a newly developed Spanish version of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) with the established English version. Basic principles and practical issues faced in the application of IRT methods for instrument evaluation are discussed. Data were derived from a study of the mental health consequences of community violence in both Spanish speakers (n = 102) and English speakers (n = 284). Results of differential item functioning (DIF) analyses revealed that the 2 versions were not fully equivalent on an item-by-item basis in that 6 of the 17 items displayed uniform DIF. No bias was observed, however, at the composite PCL-C scale score, indicating that the 2 language versions can be combined for scale-level analyses.

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