Masters Thesis

A Longitudinal Application Of, Cross-informant Linking

Dynamic systems (e.g., families, student-teacher, etc.) present themselves as a powerful means of assessing multiple informants and how they interact with each other across a given period of time. the current study sought to propose a novel statistical methodology for the simultaneous linking of tests across both informants and time. This was accomplished through the application of multi-test parameter linking under Item Response Theory. Data were taken from the Fullerton Longitudinal Study and assessed the construct of Positive Family Relationships (PFR)—a measure of how well family members get along and support each other—and assessed mothers and children from 9- to 17-years of age. the procedures yielded theta (&thetas;) scores which represent equated scores of mother- and child-reported PFR. the &thetas;s were found to be highly correlated with the original summed scores. Furthermore, discrepancies between the summed scores and the ?s are likely the result of the removal of measurement error associated with developmental and/or interpretational differences amongst the measures. the methods presented in this paper allow researchers to confidently apply survey-based data to the assessment of dynamic systems.

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