Article (Scientific journals)
Item response theory and differential test functioning analysis of the HBSC-Symptom-Checklist across 46 countries
Heinz, Andreas; Sischka, Philipp; Catunda, Carolina et al.
2022In BMC Medical Research Methodology, 22 (253)
Peer reviewed
 

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Keywords :
Differential item functioning; Health behaviour in school‑aged children; Psychosomatic health complaints; Measurement invariance; Self‑reported health complaints,; HBSC symptom checklist; Subjective health complaints; Cross-national; Adolescents
Abstract :
[en] Background The Symptom Checklist (SCL) developed by the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study is a non-clinical measure of psychosomatic complaints (e.g., headache and feeling low) that has been used in numerous studies. Several studies have investigated the psychometric characteristics of this scale; however, some psychometric properties remain unclear, among them especially a) dimensionality, b) adequacy of the Graded Response Model (GRM), and c) measurement invariance across countries. Methods Data from 229,906 adolescents aged 11, 13 and 15 from 46 countries that participated in the 2018 HBSC survey were analyzed. Adolescents were selected using representative sampling and surveyed by questionnaire in the classroom. Dimensionality was investigated using exploratory graph analysis. In addition, we investigated whether the GRM provided an adequate description of the data. Reliability over the latent variable continuum and differential test functioning across countries were also examined. Results Exploratory graph analyses showed that SCL can be considered as one-dimensional in 16 countries. However, a comparison of the unidimensional with a post-hoc bifactor GRM showed that deviation from a hypothesized one-dimensional structure was negligible in most countries. Multigroup invariance analyses supported configural and metric invariance, but not scalar invariance across 32 countries. Alignment analysis showed non-invariance especially for the items irritability, feeling nervous/bad temper and feeling low. Conclusion HBSC-SCL appears to represent a consistent and reliable unidimensional instrument across most countries. This bodes well for population health analyses that rely on this scale as an early indicator of mental health status.
Disciplines :
Public health, health care sciences & services
Author, co-author :
Heinz, Andreas ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Social Sciences (DSOC)
Sischka, Philipp ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS)
Catunda, Carolina ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Social Sciences (DSOC)
Cosma, Alina
García-Moya, Irene
Lyyra, Nelli
Kaman, Anne
Ravens-Sieberer, Ulrike
Pickett, William
External co-authors :
yes
Language :
English
Title :
Item response theory and differential test functioning analysis of the HBSC-Symptom-Checklist across 46 countries
Publication date :
29 September 2022
Journal title :
BMC Medical Research Methodology
Volume :
22
Issue :
253
Peer reviewed :
Peer reviewed
Available on ORBilu :
since 29 September 2022

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