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Previous issue (2020. Vol. 10, no. 1)

Modelling and Data Analysis

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2219-3758

ISSN (online): 2311-9454


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2011

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Similar or different? An Item Response Theory Analysis of the Synonyms Test in Adults with and without a History of Institutionalization 127

Logvinenko T.I.
Researcher, Laboratory of the Translational Sciences of Human Development, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia

Talantseva O.I.
Researcher, Laboratory of the Translational Sciences of Human Development, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia

Volokhova E.M.
Researcher, Laboratory of the Translational Sciences of Human Development, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia

Khalaf S.
PhD, post-doctoral fellow at the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics, University of Houston, Houston, USA

Grigorenko E.L.
Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Principal Investigator, Laboratory of the Translational Sciences of Human Development, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia

The lack of valid and standardized instruments, directed on an assessment of the language domain in adolescents and adults in Russia postulates the urgent necessity of their development. To fi ll this gap, the language battery, ARFA-RUS, was created and applied in a large project investigating the long-term consequences of raring in institutional care settings on human development. In the current study, an Item Response Theory (IRT) approach was used to examine the psychometric properties of the Synonyms Subtest of ARFA-RUS as the fi rst step of validation of the battery. IRT results demonstrated the test is reliable for the low-to-moderate levels of the assessed ability; yet, to capture a wider ability range, more diffi cult items are needed. The ARFA-RUS Synonyms Subtest was less suitable for the postinstitutionalized group of adults; in this group, the latent ability estimate explained a lower percentage of variance in comparison to adults raised in biological families. With regard to item-specifi c analyses, two items demonstrated paradoxical patterns with decreased probability of correct response at increased ability. In addition, one item was eliminated from the fi nal version of the Synonyms Subtest due to its poor item fi t and low discrimination value.

Keywords: Item-response theory, psychometrics, differential item functioning, language, synonyms, assessment

Column: Data Analysis


A Part of Article

Language is a fundamental human ability, and it is a fundamental component of many different skills and processes (i.e., memory, executive functions, learning). Like other complex skills, language development is influenced by a variety of genetic and environmental factors and their interactions.

For Reference


The reported study was supported by the Government of the Russian Federation (grant № 14.Z50.31.0027 “Early deprivation influences biological and behavioral indicators of development”; E.L.G., Principal Investigator). We are grateful to Mei Tan for her editorial support.

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