Spanish and English Versions of the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C)

Testing for Differential Item Functioning

Published In: Journal of Traumatic Stress, v. 21, no. 4, Aug. 2008, p. 369-376

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2007

by Jeremy N. V. Miles, Grant N. Marshall, Terry L. Schell

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Interpretation of ethnic differences in PTSD is predicated on demonstration that differences are not due to measurement bias. This is difficult when multiple languages are used in the assessment. This study used confirmatory factor analysis to examine possible differential item functioning (DIF) across English and Spanish versions of the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C). Data were derived from two assessments of Hispanics (Ns = 304, 213), who were hospitalized with physical injuries. After correction for multiple testing, univariate tests revealed no statistically significant DIF effects; multivariate tests revealed some indication of DIF at the initial assessment only. This bias was inconsistent across waves and unlikely to be substantively consequential, indicating that the two versions of the PCL-C were generally equivalent.

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