Article/Report  |   December 2007
Construct Validity of the MCDI-I Receptive Vocabulary Scale Can Be Improved: Differential Item Functioning Between Toddlers With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Typically Developing Infants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cornelia Bruckner
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Paul Yoder
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Wendy Stone
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Megan Saylor
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Contact author: Cornelia Bruckner, who is now with the Napa County Office of Education, 311 Professional Center Drive, Ronnent Park, CA 94928. E-mail: cornelia.bruckner@gmail.com.
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language
Article/Report   |   December 2007
Construct Validity of the MCDI-I Receptive Vocabulary Scale Can Be Improved: Differential Item Functioning Between Toddlers With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Typically Developing Infants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2007, Vol. 50, 1631-1638. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/110)
History: Received September 6, 2006 , Revised January 12, 2007 , Accepted March 3, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2007, Vol. 50, 1631-1638. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/110)
History: Received September 6, 2006; Revised January 12, 2007; Accepted March 3, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose: To evaluate whether the validity of the Receptive Vocabulary scale of the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory for Infants (MCDI-I; L. Fenson et al., 1991), a parent-report measure of early vocabulary, could be improved for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) by removing items that are biased.

Method: Logistic regression was used to identify biased items. Items are considered biased if characteristics other than those being measured by the instrument change the probability that a person will get an item correct. Participants in the current study included 272 typically developing infants younger than 18 months of age and 209 toddlers with ASD older than 18 months of age. The age difference between the 2 groups is a result of matching on total size of the receptive vocabulary.

Results: Twenty-five items were identified as showing large bias.

Conclusion: Deletion of these items from the test should increase the degree to which the authors are measuring the size of the respondent’s mental lexicon with the total score from the MCDI-I.

Acknowledgments
Financial support for this work was provided by National Institutes of Health National Research Scientist Award NICHD T32HD07226, Behavioral Research Training in Developmental Disability, awarded to Tedra Walden, Vanderbilt University. We thank Donald Compton, Robin McWilliam, James Stieger, and Niels Waller for their assistance in the development and implementation of this study.
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