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Item-Bundle DIF Hypothesis Testing: Identifying Suspect Bundles and Assessing Their Differential Functioning

Jeffrey A. Douglas, Louis A. Roussos and William Stout
Journal of Educational Measurement
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Winter, 1996), pp. 465-484
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1435335
Page Count: 20
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Item-Bundle DIF Hypothesis Testing: Identifying Suspect Bundles and Assessing Their Differential Functioning
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Abstract

This article proposes two multidimensional IRT model-based methods of selecting item bundles (clusters of not necessarily adjacent items chosen according to some organizational principle) suspected of displaying DIF amplification. The approach embodied in these two methods is inspired by Shealy and Stout's (1993a, 1993b) multidimensional model for DIF. Each bundle selected by these methods constitutes a DIF amplification hypothesis. When SIBTEST (Shealy & Stout, 1993b) confirms DIF amplification in selected bundles, differential bundle functioning (DBF) is said to occur. Three real data examples illustrate the two methods for suspect bundle selection. The effectiveness of the methods is argued on statistical grounds. A distinction between benign and adverse DIF is made. The decision whether flagged DIF items or DBF bundles display benign or adverse DIF/DBF must depend in part on nonstatistical construct validity arguments. Conducting DBF analyses using these methods should help in the identification of the causes of DIF/DBF.

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