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Thursday 16th July, 09:00 - 10:30 Room: O-101

Assessing and addressing measurement equivalence in cross-cultural surveys 1

Convenor Dr Gijs Van Houten (Eurofound )
Coordinator 1Dr Milos Kankaras (Eurofound)

Session Details

Over the past decades the number of cross-cultural surveys has increased dramatically. A major challenge in cross-cultural surveys is to ensure that the answers of different respondents to survey items measure the same concepts. If measurement equivalence is not achieved it is difficult if not impossible to make meaningful comparisons across cultures and countries.

Most cross-cultural surveys aim to reduce bias by finding the right balance between harmonisation and local adaptation of the methods used in each of the stages of the surveys process (e.g. sampling, questionnaire development and translation, fieldwork implementation etc.). Furthermore, an increasing number of research projects are being carried out looking into the determinants measurement equivalence. There are three main approaches to the analysis of measurement equivalence – multigroup confirmatory factor analysis, differential item functioning, and multigroup latent class analysis. These latent variable models are based on different modelling assumptions and are appropriate for different types of data (cf. Kankaraš and Moors, 2010).

This session invites papers about the assessment of measurement equivalence in cross-cultural surveys as well as papers about efforts made to address measurement equivalence in the design and implementation of surveys. The aim is to facilitate an exchange that benefits both the future analysis of measurement equivalence and the future design of cross-national surveys.

Kankaraš, M. & Moors, G.B.D (2010). Researching measurement equivalence in cross-cultural studies. Psyhologija, 43(2) ,121-136

Paper Details

1. Assessing measurement equivalence using data from the European Social Survey: A multigroup confirmatory factor analysis of economic deprivation
Mr Mark Visser (Department of Sociology, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
Dr Maurice Gesthuizen (Department of Sociology, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
Professor Peer Scheepers (Department of Sociology, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands)

This paper provides an example of the assessment of measurement equivalence using the European Social Survey. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that three items measure one underlying factor: economic deprivation. We applied MCFA to test if these items equivalently measure this construct across the 25 countries in the data. We tested for configural, metric and scalar invariance. In our paper, each step of the testing procedure is elaborated. The results show that our final model is partially invariant in 7 countries. Implications of these findings are discussed by analyzing economic deprivation both with and without the partial invariant countries.

2. Why language attrition and language change need to be considered in the development and adaptation of questionnaires for immigrant populations
Professor Patrick Brzoska (Chemnitz University of Technology, Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Institute of Sociology, Dept. of Epidemiology)
Dr Yüce Yilmaz-aslan (Bielefeld University, School of Public Health, Dept. Epidemiology & International Public Health )
Professor Oliver Razum (Bielefeld University, School of Public Health, Dept. Epidemiology & International Public Health )

Surveys on immigrants are frequently conducted by means of questionnaires developed for the population of the respective countries which immigrants originate from. We show that the applicability of these questionnaires may be limited because of differences between both populations in terms of language usage, including language attrition among the emigrated population. We illustrate this through a study on the measurement equivalence of the Turkish version of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) in Turks residing in Turkey and Turkish migrants residing in Germany as well as by means of a qualitative investigation into linguistic differences between both population groups.

3. Understanding Within-Group DIF in Survey Response: Evidence from Qatar
Dr Justin Gengler (Social and Economic Survey Research Institute, Qatar University)
Dr Jocelyn Mitchell (Northwestern University in Qatar)

Differential item functioning in surveys is most commonly understood as stemming from differences in exogenous country-level factors such as the character of prevailing social and religious norms, extent of economic development, or mode of political organization. But another likely source lies in the fact that individuals employ reference points that vary according to the size and diversity of their personal networks, and the extent and quality of their information. Thus, heterogeneity in response scales is not a function of country- or group-level variables merely, and recognizing and accounting for DIF remains important even within culturally cohesive populations.

4. On the reliability and cross-national comparability of the self-expression values scale.
Dr Sabrina De Regt (Utrecht University)

Several decades ago Inglehart and colleagues introduced the influential concept of self-expression values. It is remarkable however that only limited or no information at all has been given on the reliability of this measurement. Furthermore, most of the work of Inglehart and colleagues on self-expression values involved cross-national comparisons. The essential, strong tests on cross-national equivalence were not conducted however. In this paper we will first detailed examine the reliability and internal structure of self-expression values in a wide range of countries. Subsequently, we will conduct cross-cultural equivalence tests.