Retrospective emotional frequency appraisals are often used in clinical assessment measures, but their suitability for use with children has not been well studied. The aims of this project were to (a) examine whether items that use retrospective frequency structures gather more or less information than items that do not use such structures and (b) examine whether the information gathered by such items differs across children's ages. Method. Data were gathered from 9- to 12-year-old girls who participated in a larger study of a depression treatment protocol. Two sets of five pairs of items were sampled from two children's depression measures. The item pairs contained one item from each measure. One set of item pairs was matched for content and the use of retrospective frequency structures. The other set was matched for content only. Results. For the first research question, information curves for the two item sets were generated using Samejima's (1969) Graded Response Model (GRM). Visual analyses of the information curves provided inconclusive results as to whether the presence of retrospective frequency structures is associated with differences in item information levels. The second research question was conducted in two parts. For both, only data from the 9- and 12-year-old participants were analyzed. In the first part, confirmatory factor analysis was used to analyze measurement invariance across the two groups' responses. Theses analyses showed signs of measurement non-invariance in both item sets. The second part of the analyses was conducted by generating separate GRM information curves for the two age groups and conducting visual analyses of the information curves. These analyses showed that the model which had been used throughout the remainder of the study did not fit the 9-year-old group well. They also showed that the 12-year-old group's information curves varied more in height across measures and item sets than did the 9-year-old group's curves. Discussion. Although the findings failed to shed light on the effects of retrospective frequency structures on children's responding, they highlighted potential differences between the 9- and 12-year-old groups' factor structures and indicated that the 9-year-olds displayed decreased sensitivity to differences in item structure.
|Advisor:||Stapleton, Laura, Pitts, Steven C.|
|Commitee:||Deluty, Robert, Schiffman, Jason, Ting, Laura|
|School:||University of Maryland, Baltimore County|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social psychology, Clinical psychology, Cognitive psychology|
|Keywords:||Children, Depression, Graded response model, Item response theory, Measurement, Self-report|
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