Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Measurement and Research

Major Professor

John Ferron, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Eun Sook Kim, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yiping Lou, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yi-hsin Chen, Ph.D.


MAR, MCAR, MNAR, two-level data


The purpose of this simulation study was to evaluate the relative performance of five missing data treatments (MDTs) for handling missing data in complex sample surveys. The five missing data methods included in this study were listwise deletion (LW), single hot-deck imputation (HS), single regression imputation (RS), hot-deck-based multiple imputation (HM), and regression-based multiple imputation (RM). These MDTs were assessed in the context of regression weight estimates in multiple regression analysis in complex sample data with two data levels. In this study, the multiple regression equation had six regressors without missing data and two regressors with missing data. The four performance measures used in this study were statistical bias, RMSE, CI width, and coverage probability (i.e., 95%) of the confidence interval.

The five MDTs were evaluated separately for three types of missingness: MCAR, MAR, and MNAR. For each type of missingness, the studied MDTs were evaluated at four levels of missingness (10%, 30%, 50%, and 70%) along with complete sample conditions as a reference point for interpretation of results. In addition, ICC levels (.0, .25, .50) and high and low density population were also manipulated as studied factors.

The study’s findings revealed that the performance of each individual MDT varied across missing data types, but their relative performance was quite similar for all missing data types except for LW’s performance in MNAR. RS produced the most inaccurate estimates considering bias, RMSE, and coverage of confidence interval; RM and HM were the second poorest performers. LW as well as HS procedure outperformed the rest on the measures of accuracy and precision in MCAR; however LW’s measures of precision decreased in MAR and MNAR, and LW’s CI width was the widest in MNAR data. In addition, in all three missing data types, those poor performers were less accurate and less precise on variables with missing data than they were on variables without missing data; and the degree of accuracy and precision of these poor performers depended mostly on the level of data ICC. The proportion of missing data only noticeably affected the performance of HM such that in higher missing data levels, HM yielded worse performance measures. Population density factor had negligible effects on most of the measures produced by all studied MDTs except for RMSE, CI width, and CI coverage produced by LW which were modestly influenced by population density.