ERIC Number: EJ1162777
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Classification Errors and Bias Regarding Research on Sexual Minority Youths
Cimpian, Joseph R.
Educational Researcher, v46 n9 p517-529 Dec 2017
Quantitative research on sexual minority youths (SMYs) has likely contributed to misperceptions about the risk and deviance of this population. In part because it often relies on self-reported data from population-based self-administered questionnaires, this research is susceptible to misclassification bias whereby youths who are not SMYs are classified as such and vice versa. I introduce a taxonomy of classification errors, including seven unique sources, and discuss the potential effects of each error on estimates of youth outcomes. Through examples, I illustrate how researchers can detect and correct such errors and discuss how piecewise attempts to address bias can sometimes unintentionally exacerbate other forms of bias. Finally, I propose a unified conceptual model for addressing the various error sources, urging researchers to take a proactive and integrative approach to data validity by attending to errors at each step in the research process, from questionnaire development to data analysis. Although I focus on errors specific to the topic of sexuality research on youths, this argument can serve as a broader template for the development of taxonomies of error along other dimensions considered in educational research, such as race and disability status.
Descriptors: Secondary School Students, Adolescents, Minority Group Students, Homosexuality, Taxonomy, Statistical Bias, Error of Measurement, Error Correction, Validity, Questionnaires, Test Construction, Data Analysis, Sexuality, Educational Research, Models, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A