Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Gibson, Shanan Gwaltney IV Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-93098-11430 Title Differential Item Functioning on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Degree Master of Science Department Psychology Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Foti, Roseanne J. Hauenstein, Neil M. A. Harvey, Robert J. Committee Chair Keywords
- differential item functioning
Date of Defense 1998-10-14 Availability unrestricted AbstractUtilizing Item Response Theory (IRT) methodologies, the Armed Services
Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) was examined for differential item
functioning (DIF) on the basis of crossed gender and ethnicity variables.
Both the Mantel-Haenszel procedure and an IRT area-based technique were
utilized to assess the degree of uniform and non-uniform DIF in a sample
of ASVAB takers. The analysis was performed such that each subgroup of
interest functioned as the focal group to be compared to the male
reference group. This type of DIF analysis allowed for comparisons
within ethnic group, within gender group, as well as crossed ethnic/gender
group. The groups analyzed were: White, Black, and Hispanic males, and
White and Black females. It was hypothesized that DIF would be found,
at the scale level, on several of the ASVAB sub-tests as a result of
unintended latent trait demands of items. In particular, those tests
comprised of items requiring specialized jargon, visuospatial ability,
or advanced English vocabulary are anticipated to show bias toward white
males and/or white females.
Findings were mixed. At the item level, DIF fluctuated greatly.
Numerous instances of DIF favoring the reference as well as the focal
group were found. At the scale level, inconsistencies existed across
the forms and versions. Tests varied in their tendency to be biased
against the focal group of interest and at times, performed contrary
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