Differential item functioning of the Scales for Assessing Emotional Disturbance-3 for White and African American students

Matthew C. Lambert, Jodie Martin, Michael H. Epstein, Douglas Cullinan, Antonis Katsiyannis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study investigated the psychometric properties of the Scales for Assessing Emotional Disturbance – Third Edition: Rating Scale (SAED-3 RS), which is designed for use in identifying students with emotional disturbance for special education services. The purposes of this study were to evaluate (a) the measurement invariance of SAED-3 RS scores between White and African American students and (b) the impact of differential item functioning (DIF) on test scores from the SAED-3 RS. The sample consisted of 855 K-12 students from throughout the United States. The findings suggested that SAED-3 RS items exhibited small to negligible levels of DIF and that DIF did not significantly impact scores. The results supported the SAED-3 RS, a teacher-completed rating scale, as relatively consistent in measuring the emotional and behavioral status of school-age students from different racial backgrounds. Researchers and practitioners can have confidence that scores from the SAED-3 RS are not substantially affected by DIF when assessing the emotional and behavioral functioning of African American and White school-age students. Research limitations, future research, and implications for school professionals are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-568
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Scales for Assessing Emotional Disturbance
  • behavior disorders
  • differential item functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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