Cover: Creating a Developmentally Sensitive Measure of Adolescent Alcohol Misuse

Creating a Developmentally Sensitive Measure of Adolescent Alcohol Misuse

An Application of Item Response Theory

Published in: Substance use and misuse, v. 44, no. 6, May 2009, p. 835-847

Posted on on January 01, 2009

by Maria Orlando Edelen, Daniel F. McCaffrey, Phyllis L. Ellickson, Joan S. Tucker, David J. Klein

This study, funded by the US National Institute of Drug Abuse, evaluates the usefulness of item response theory (IRT) to create a developmental alcohol misuse scale. Data were collected during 1997-2006 from 5,828 Midwestern US students who completed annual surveys at grades 7 through 11 and 2 and 4 years after high school. Seventeen alcohol misuse items were calibrated with IRT and examined for differential item functioning (DIF) across 5 study waves. Eight items displayed DIF; in most cases, properties for items assessed 2 years after high school were different from those assessed in grades 8-11. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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