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Psychometrically Relevant Differences between Source and Migrant Populations


Patrick Brzoska

Psychometrically relevant population differences may limit the transferability of research instruments between migrants and their source population and may contribute to a low performance of quantitative questionnaires. Based on a review of existing taxonomies, this book develops a comprehensive analytical framework of equivalence that can serve multiple purposes. It allows to examine psychometrically relevant population differences, it can assist in the re-adaptation of questionnaires and it is a valuable tool for cross-group comparative research. The application of the framework is illustrated through the examination of equivalence of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) between chronically ill Turks residing in Turkey and Turkish migrants residing in Germany.
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3. Aims and research components of the investigation


As outlined in Chapter 1, the present investigation continues work of Brzoska & Razum (2010) who observed a low structural validity and reliability of the IPQ-R in Turkish migrants residing in Germany—despite good psychometric properties in the population of Turkey. Brzoska & Razum (2010) hypothesized that psychometrically relevant differences between source and migrant populations may explain the poor performance of the questionnaire in Turkish migrants. The investigation aims to empirically examine the degree and type of these psychometrically relevant differences. It uses the assessment of illness perceptions by means of the IPQ-R in chronically ill Turks residing in Turkey and Turkish migrants residing in Germany as an example. Thereby, it identifies sources of non-equivalence and bias involved in the transfer of questionnaires between both population groups. Knowledge on psychometrically relevant differences between source and migrant populations can raise the awareness in the scientific community of public health researchers for a more careful application of self-report questionnaires and can help to re-adapt these instruments appropriately. In light of limited resources for large-scale validation studies this can help to improve the validity and reliability of findings in this research field.

In order to accomplish this aim, the present investigation has been structured into one methodical and two empirical components. The latter consist of two (a/b) and four (a-d) sub-components, respectively (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6: Schematic overview of the research components of the present investigation (Source: own illustration)

As a first step, an analytical...

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