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Title:Structural Equivalence of Vocational Interests Across Culture and Gender: Differential Item Functioning in the Strong Interest Inventory
Author(s):Einarsdottir, Sif
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rounds, James
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Psychometrics
Abstract:The present study evaluated the structural equivalence of the Strong Interest Inventory (SII: Harmon et al., 1994) across Icelandic and US cultures and across gender within culture. Gender differences in structure were also compared across countries. Methods developed within the framework of item response theory were applied to test the differential item functioning (DIF) of the items in the inventory. The issue of structural equivalence was addressed at the item level, focusing on the items as indicators of latent trait. The six General Occupational Theme (GOT) scales and the 25 Basic Interest Scales (BIS) in the Strong Interest Inventory were defined as valid subscales for the analysis. Differential item functioning (DIF) was detected using the SIBTEST procedure (Shealy & Stout, 1993). The POLYSIB program was applied to a college sample of 1860 women and 1105 men from the US and 1101 women and 479 men from Iceland. Half of the items used in the GOT and BIS scales showed DIF across culture. Gender DIF was detected in two-thirds of the items. All the six GOT scales were also found to have dimensionally distinct items indicating that they are not measuring single trait. There was no difference in the amount of gender DIF in Iceland and the US. The cross-cultural differences detected could not be clearly explained in the study. The gender DIF results indicate that a sex-type dimension may be influencing the responses of men and women. The implications of this study for the applicability of the SII in Iceland are discussed. The construct validity of the SII for men and women and the theoretical formulation of interest types are addressed.
Issue Date:2001
Description:190 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3023048
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2001

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