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A comparison of item response theory-based methods for examining differential item functioning in object naming test by language of assessment among older Latinos

Author(s): Frances M. Yang | Kevin C. Heslin | Kala M. Mehta | Cheng-Wu Yang | Katja Ocepek-Welikson | Marjorie Kleinman | Leo S. Morales | Ron D. Hays | Anita L. Stewart | Dan Mungas | Richard N. Jones | Jeanne A. Teresi

Journal: Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling
ISSN 2190-0493

Volume: 53;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 440;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Item response theory | differential item functioning | object naming test | Hispanic/Latinos | Spanish

Object naming tests are commonly included in neuropsychological test batteries. Differential item functioning (DIF) in these tests due to cultural and language differences may compromise the validity of cognitive measures in diverse populations. We evaluated 26 object naming items for DIF due to Spanish and English language translations among Latinos (n=1,159), mean age of 70.5 years old (Standard Deviation (SD)±7.2), using the following four item response theory-based ap-proaches: Mplus/Multiple Indicator, Multiple Causes (Mplus/MIMIC; Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2011), Item Response Theory Likelihood Ratio Differential Item Functioning (IRTLRDIF/MULTILOG; Thissen, 1991, 2001), difwithpar/Parscale (Crane, Gibbons, Jolley, & van Belle, 2006; Muraki & Bock, 2003), and Differential Functioning of Items and Tests/MULTILOG (DFIT/MULTILOG; Flowers, Oshima, & Raju, 1999; Thissen, 1991). Overall, there was moderate to near perfect agreement across methods. Fourteen items were found to exhibit DIF and 5 items observed consistently across all methods, which were more likely to be answered correctly by individuals tested in Spanish after controlling for overall ability.
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