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Psychometrically Relevant Differences between Source and Migrant Populations

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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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7. What can we learn from the findings?

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The overall aim of the present investigation was to examine psychometrically relevant differences between source and migrant populations using the assessment of illness perceptions in chronically ill Turks residing in Turkey and Turkish migrants residing in Germany as an example. The research question was studied by means of a mixed-method design implemented through one methodical and two empirical components. This chapter provides a discussion of the findings along the three research components. In light of previous literature, it discusses the analytical framework of questionnaire equivalence, the factor structure of the IPQ-R for Turks residing in Turkey and Turkish migrants residing in Germany as well as its equivalence between both populations. Finally strengths and weaknesses of the examination are discussed.

The analytical framework of questionnaire equivalence

The proposed analytical framework of questionnaire equivalence can be considered an integration of existing taxonomies for the study of different types of equivalence in (cross-group) survey research. The framework extends the classical “quantitative” hierarchical assessment procedure for measurement invariance that goes back to work by Jöreskog (1971) and others by qualitative components of equivalence proposed by Herdman et al. (1998). In doing so, it provides a more comprehensive picture of equivalence and, in the present case, helped to identify reasons for measurement non-invariance that could not have been revealed if only a (quantitative) assessment of measurement invariance was conducted.

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