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Equivalence of paper and computer formats of a child self-report mental health measure

Patalay, P; Deighton, J; Fonagy, P; Wolpert, M; (2015) Equivalence of paper and computer formats of a child self-report mental health measure. European Journal of Psychological Assessment , 31 (1) pp. 54-61. 10.1027/1015-5759/a000206. Green open access

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Abstract

Research examining the equivalence of paper and computer-based adult mental health measures has found mixed results, and this issue has not been explored for child self-report measures. Results from adult studies cannot be generalized to young people, especially taking into consideration research indicating that current generations are more comfortable disclosing sensitive information on computer-based media. This paper investigates the psychometric equivalence of the paper (N = 777) and computer (N = 777) formats of a child and adolescent self-report mental health measure, ‘‘Me and My School’’ (M&MS), completed by school pupils aged 8–14 years. Common practice in equivalence testing has been to use scale-level analysis and factor structure equivalence; the limitation being inability to assess format-based differences at the item-level. We conduct differential item functioning (DIF) analysis to assess whether item-response probability is different based on survey format. Results demonstrate that young people completing the M&MS on paper have lower scale-level overall scores. However, DIF analyses indicate that this difference is not explained by item-level probabilities. The results suggest that survey format equivalence testing of other widely used child and adolescent mental health measures may be necessary before data from different formats are directly compared or combined.

Type: Article
Title: Equivalence of paper and computer formats of a child self-report mental health measure
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1027/1015-5759/a000206
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1015-5759/a000206
Language: English
Additional information: European Journal of Psychological Assessment, © 2014 by Hogrefe Publishing This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in European Journal of Psychological Assessment. It is not the version of record and is therefore not suitable for citation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1433345
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