Psychometric Approaches for Developing Commensurate Measures Across Independent Studies: Traditional and New Models

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When conducting an integrative analysis of data obtained from multiple independent studies, a fundamental problem is to establish commensurate measures for the constructs of interest. Fortunately, procedures for evaluating and establishing measurement equivalence across samples are well developed for the linear factor model and commonly used item response theory models. A newly proposed moderated nonlinear factor analysis model generalizes these models and procedures, allowing for items of different scale types (continuous or discrete) and differential item functioning across levels of categorical and/or continuous variables. The potential of this new model to resolve the problem of measurement in integrative data analysis is shown via an empirical example examining changes in alcohol involvement from ages 10 to 22 years across 2 longitudinal studies.

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