Improving the Measurement of Socially Unacceptable Attitudes and Behaviors With Item Response Theory
Download eBook for Free
|PDF file||0.1 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
Assessment of socially unacceptable behaviors and attitudes via self-report is likely to yield skewed data that may be vulnerable to measurement non-invariance. Item response theory (IRT) can help address these measurement challenges. This paper illustrates application of IRT to data from a teen dating violence intervention study. Three factors reflecting teens’ attitudes about dating violence were identified, and items from these 3 scales were subjected to IRT calibration and evaluated for differential item functioning (DIF) by gender. The IRT scores displayed superior measurement properties relative to the observed scale scores, and in 1 of the 3 factors, inferences about group mean differences were impacted by the presence of DIF. This application demonstrates how IRT analysis can improve measurement of socially unacceptable behaviors and attitudes.
The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND Health.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.