Detecting Differential Item Functioning Across Different Age Groups on the Turkish Receptive Language Test for Children

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differential item functioning, age differences, Turkish Receptive Language Test for Children, item response theory


This study investigated the use of differential item functioning (DIF) methods for examining the measurement invariance of items in the Turkish Receptive Language Test for children. Two groups of children differing in age were compared. DIF analyses were conducted using Lord’s chi-square test, the likelihood ratio test, and the differential functioning of items and tests (DFIT) method. Overall, 5 out of 38 items were consistently identified as having DIF by the various parametric DIF detection methods. Because the directions of DIF varied across items, the net effect of DIF at the scale level was small, as indicated by comparisons of test characteristic curves, as well as item response theory based effect size statistics, which showed that the observed mean differences across age groups were due mainly to impact. Potential explanations for the consistencies and variations in items detected across DIF methods, as well statistical versus practical significance of DIF results are discussed.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

The International Journal of Educational and Psychological Assessment, v. 12, issue 1, p. 81-94