Differential Item Functioning of the Scales for Assessing Emotional Disturbance-3 for White and Hispanic Students

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The present study explored the psychometric properties of ratings made using the Scales for Assessing Emotional Disturbance–Third Edition: Rating Scale (SAED-3 RS), a scale developed for use in identifying school-age students with emotional and behavioral problems. The purposes of the study were to assess differential item functioning (DIF) for SAED-3 RS items between White and Hispanic students and to assess the impact of DIF on SAED-3 RS scale scores. The sample consisted of 979 students without disabilities who were identified as White/Non-Hispanic (71.91%) and Hispanic (28.09%). The data indicated that SAED-3 RS items demonstrated small to negligible levels of DIF and that DIF did not saliently impact scores. The data suggest that items and scores yielded from the SAED-3 RS are consistent in measuring the emotional and behavioral functioning of school-age students from diverse backgrounds. Research limitations, future research directions, and practical use implications for school personnel are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Issue number4
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • assessment
  • differential item functioning
  • disorders/disabilities
  • emotional disturbance
  • scales for assessing emotional disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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