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Keywords

bullying, children, psychometrics

 

Authors

  1. Vessey, Judith A.
  2. DiFazio, Rachel L.
  3. Strout, Tania D.

Abstract

Background: In today's increasingly violent society, many childhood incidents that begin as simple teasing deteriorate into persistent bullying. The Child-Adolescent Teasing Scale (CATS) was developed to measure self-perceived teasing in youths aged 11-15 years. It was validated initially using the principles of classical test theory and deemed to be a reliable and valid measure of teasing; it has been responsive to change in intervention studies.

 

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate further the psychometric properties of the CATS by evaluating the degree to which the CATS items are congruent with the primary assumptions of the Rasch measurement model.

 

Methods: A methodological study design using a Rasch Rating Scale Model was utilized to examine the psychometric properties of the 32-item CATS. The sample of the CATS consisted of 666 youths aged 11-15 years from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds and geographic regions. Unidimensionality, hierarchical ordering, and stretching of the variable's responses along a continuum were examined.

 

Results: The current CATS subscales do not fit the criteria for the Rasch model. The subscales are not unidimensional or hierarchical and do not exist on upon a continuum upon which items can be ordered and children can be placed.

 

Discussion: The divergent results between the classical test theory and Rasch analyses, although not completely surprising, underscore the need for continued refinement of an instrument's psychometric properties to ensure it is measuring the concept of interest in the way it was intended.