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Abstract

Type I error rate of a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach for investigating differential item functioning (DIF) in short scales was studied. Muthén’s SEM model for DIF was examined using a covariance matrix (Jöreskog, 2002). It is conditioned on the latent variable, while testing the effect of the grouping variable over-and-above the underlying latent variable. Thus, it is a multiple-indicators, multiple-causes (MIMIC) DIF model. Type I error rates were determined using data reflective of short scales with ordinal item response formats typically found in the social and behavioral sciences. Results indicate Type I error rates for the DIF MIMIC model, as implemented in LISREL, are inflated for both estimation methods for the design conditions examined.

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