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ERIC Number: EJ991576
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-1040-3590
Item Analysis and Differential Item Functioning of a Brief Conduct Problem Screen
Wu, Johnny; King, Kevin M.; Witkiewitz, Katie; Racz, Sarah Jensen; McMahon, Robert J.
Psychological Assessment, v24 n2 p444-454 Jun 2012
Research has shown that boys display higher levels of childhood conduct problems than girls, and Black children display higher levels than White children, but few studies have tested for scalar equivalence of conduct problems across gender and race. The authors conducted a 2-parameter item response theory (IRT) model to examine item characteristics of the Authority Acceptance scale from the Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation-Revised (AA-TOCA-R; L. Larsson-Werthamer, S. G. Kellam, & L. Wheeler, 1991) in 8,820 kindergarten children and estimated the degree of differential item functioning (DIF) by gender and race/urban status. The mean level of latent conduct problems was best represented by behaviors such as being stubborn, breaking rules, and being disobedient, whereas breaking things and taking others' property best represented the construct at one standard deviation above the mean. DIF by gender was detected, such that at equivalent levels of latent conduct problems, males received more endorsements of overt behaviors from teachers, whereas females received more endorsements of nonphysical behaviors. Moreover, overt behaviors were better discriminators of latent conduct problems for males, and nonphysical behaviors were better discriminators of latent conduct problems for females. Differences across race/urban status were not found to be conceptually meaningful. The authors' analyses also suggest that the item scaling of the AA-TOCA-R may be best represented by 5e categories instead of 6. These findings provide support for the use of IRT modeling to examine item characteristics of conduct problem scales and DIF to test for scalar equivalence across diverse subpopulations. (Contains 2 tables, 4 figures and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Tennessee; Washington