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Article
Assessment of differential item functioning in the experiences of discrimination index: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study
UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science Supported Publications
  • Timothy J. Cunningham, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Lisa F. Berkman, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Steven L. Gortmaker, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Catarina I. Kiefe, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • David R. Jacobs, Jr., University of Minnesota
  • Teresa E. Seeman, University of California
  • Ichiro Kawachi, Harvard School of Public Health
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Date
12-1-2011
Document Type
Article
Medical Subject Headings
African Americans; European Continental Ancestry Group; Female; Humans; Male; *Prejudice; Prospective Studies; *Psychometrics; Sex Factors
Disciplines
Abstract

The psychometric properties of instruments used to measure self-reported experiences of discrimination in epidemiologic studies are rarely assessed, especially regarding construct validity. The authors used 2000-2001 data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study to examine differential item functioning (DIF) in 2 versions of the Experiences of Discrimination (EOD) Index, an index measuring self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic and gender discrimination. DIF may confound interpretation of subgroup differences. Large DIF was observed for 2 of 7 racial/ethnic discrimination items: White participants reported more racial/ethnic discrimination for the "at school" item, and black participants reported more racial/ethnic discrimination for the "getting housing" item. The large DIF by race/ethnicity in the index for racial/ethnic discrimination probably reflects item impact and is the result of valid group differences between blacks and whites regarding their respective experiences of discrimination. The authors also observed large DIF by race/ethnicity for 3 of 7 gender discrimination items. This is more likely to have been due to item bias. Users of the EOD Index must consider the advantages and disadvantages of DIF adjustment (omitting items, constructing separate measures, and retaining items). The EOD Index has substantial usefulness as an instrument that can assess self-reported experiences of discrimination.

Comments

Citation: Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Dec 1;174(11):1266-74. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwr253. Epub 2011 Oct 29.

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Link to Article in PubMed
Keywords
  • UMCCTS funding
Citation Information
Timothy J. Cunningham, Lisa F. Berkman, Steven L. Gortmaker, Catarina I. Kiefe, et al.. "Assessment of differential item functioning in the experiences of discrimination index: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study" Vol. 174 Iss. 11 (2011) ISSN: 0002-9262 (Linking)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/catarina_kiefe/199/