Christine DiStefano's research while affiliated with University of South Carolina and other places

Publications (97)

Article
This study reviews findings for the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) for school mental health (SMH) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Since its development in the late 2000s, the ISF has been supported by federally funded centers for SMH and PBIS, and, guided by a nationa...
Article
The Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) is a popular screening instrument used by parents and clinicians to assess children's behavioral functioning. However, more schools are examining the potential of the PSC-17 as part of a Multi-Tier System of Support framework. To investigate the potential of the PSC-17 in the schools, a sample of 1,779 U....
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A class of effect size indices are discussed that evaluate the degree to which two nested confirmatory factor analysis models differ from each other in terms of fit to a set of observed variables. These descriptive effect measures can be used to quantify the impact of parameter restrictions imposed in an initially considered model and are free from...
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Computing confidence intervals around generalizability coefficients has long been a challenging task in generalizability theory. This is a serious practical problem because generalizability coefficients are often computed from designs where some facets have small sample sizes, and researchers have little guide regarding the trustworthiness of the c...
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Regression mixture models (RMMs) can be used to specifically test for and model differential effects in heterogeneous populations. Based on the results of the Aim 1 simulation study, enumeration conducted with constrained predictor means appears to be advantageous. Furthermore, researchers should estimate the K and K+1 unconditional models (chosen...
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A latent variable modeling-based procedure is discussed that permits to readily point and interval estimate the design effect index in multilevel settings using widely circulated software. The method provides useful information about the relationship of important parameter standard errors when accounting for clustering effects relative to conductin...
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Research has revealed that the performance of root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) in assessing structural equation models with small degrees of freedom (df) is suboptimal, often resulting in the rejection of correctly specified or closely fitted models. This study investigates the performance of standardized root mean square residual (S...
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The costs of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) are of concern to health profession educators globally. As OSCEs are usually designed under generalizability theory (G-theory) framework, this article proposes a machine-learning-based approach to optimize the costs, while maintaining the minimum required generalizability coefficient,...
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Universal screening for mental health in preschools provides the opportunity for early identification and early intervention, but guidance regarding which informants to use is needed. Preschoolers’ (N = 535) parent and teacher reports across two screening forms were analyzed to determine similarities and discrepancies for classification results and...
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Schools may be one important context where adolescents learn and shape the behaviors necessary for promoting global inclusivity in adulthood. Given the importance of bystanders in halting bullying and peer aggression, the focus of this study is on both moral judgments regarding one type of bullying, social exclusion, and factors that are associated...
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This study investigates the performance of robust maximum likelihood (ML) estimators when fitting and evaluating small sample latent growth models with non-normal missing data. Results showed that the robust ML methods could be used to account for non-normality even when the sample size is very small (e.g., N < 100). Among the robust ML estimators,...
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Academic motivation and socioeconomic status are important predictors of educational milestones which portend future career and earning trajectories as well as a potential path out of poverty. This study used motivation variables from expectancy value theory and a person-oriented approach to explore how motivation profiles interact with socioeconom...
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Universal mental health screening is a proactive approach to identify students who may benefit from prevention or early intervention services. Despite known benefits, few schools are engaging in screening efforts and it is critical to examine factors that may impede or enhance implementation. Following implementation of a universal screening progra...
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When questionnaires include Likert scales, items endorsed by relatively few respondents may result from characteristics of examinees or the constructs under study. Researchers may collapse categories to increase cell sample size; however, effects of this practice have not been systematically investigated. A five-point ordinal scale was simulated wh...
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Deep neural network (DNN) has been widely used in various artificial intelligence applications and is, unsurprisingly, penetrating the field of school psychology. In the school environment, universal screening is used by teachers to identify children’s emotional and behavioral risk (EBR) within a screener. EBR can be used to predict possible emotio...
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The frequent practice of overall fit evaluation for latent variable models in educational and behavioral research is reconsidered. It is argued that since overall plausibility does not imply local plausibility and is only necessary for the latter, local misfit should be considered a sufficient condition for model rejection, even in the case of omni...
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Youth victimization and aggression are common in adolescents’ everday lives. This study examines relations between youth cognition and reasoning around bullying and possible responses to bullying, peer nominations related to youth roles in the bullying ecology and self-report experiences of perceived racial discrimination using latent class analyse...
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Multivariate generalizability theory (mG-theory) is an important framework in many behavioral and educational studies, as it describes useful psychometric properties of multidimensional assessments. Nevertheless, the use of mG-theory estimation is limited due to the lack of available software for carrying out the necessary calculations: users rely...
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The Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 was originally used in primary care settings with parents to identify their children’s behavioral and emotional problems, but there has been some research supporting use of this scale in school settings. This study examined: (a) the factor structure and measurement invariance of the teacher-rated Pediatric Symptom...
Chapter
This chapter provides an introduction to the Rasch rating scale model (RSM) and provides a primer of how to use the methodology when analyzing questionnaires. The work includes a discussion of best practices for using the RSM, how to evaluate item and person fit, and how to use the information to build a psychometrically sound scale. An applied exa...
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Early childhood practitioners are increasingly attending to the unique needs of preschool Latinx dual language learners in an effort to provide culturally and linguistically responsive assessment and services. Universal screening within schools is considered one way to provide equitable access to identification for mental health services; however,...
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Survey research frequently involves the collection of data from multiple informants. Results, however, are usually analyzed by informant group, potentially ignoring important relationships across groups. When the same construct(s) are measured, integrative data analysis (IDA) allows pooling of data from multiple sources into one data set to examine...
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This study investigates how social-emotional factors are related to bystanders’ responses to aggression and possible retaliation. Participants consisted of sixth and ninth graders ( N = 896, 52.8% female) who indicated how likely they would be to intervene if they observed an initial aggressive act and then following retaliation. Hierarchical regre...
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This paper investigates how the major outcome of a confirmatory factor investigation is preserved when scaling the variance of a latent variable by the various scaling methods. A constancy framework, based upon the underlying factor analysis formula that enables scaling by modifying components through scalar multiplication, is described; a proof is...
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Youth aggression occurs at high rates. Aggressive acts can be curbed through bystander intervention; yet, little is known about school and family factors that predict bystander intervention in response to both aggression and victim retaliation. This research examines school and family factors related to standing up to aggression and intervening bef...
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In the Response to Intervention framework, a psychometrically sound screening tool is essential for identification of children with emotional and behavioral risk. The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of the Pediatric Symptom Checklist–17 (PSC-17) screener in school-based settings. Forty-four teachers rated 738 preschoolers using th...
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We argue that the definition of close fitting models should embody the notion of substantially ignorable misspecifications (SIM). A SIM model is a misspecified model that might be selected, based on parsimony, over the true model should knowledge of the true model be available. Because in applications the true model (i.e., the data generating mecha...
Article
A simulation study was conducted to investigate the model size effect when confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models include many ordinal items. CFA models including between 15 and 120 ordinal items were analyzed with mean- and variance-adjusted weighted least squares to determine how varying sample size, number of ordered categories, and misspecif...
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In this study, we introduce an interval estimation approach based on Bayesian structural equation modeling to evaluate factorial invariance. For each tested parameter, the size of noninvariance with an uncertainty interval (i.e. highest density interval [HDI]) is assessed via Bayesian parameter estimation. By comparing the most credible values (i.e...
Article
This study investigated the effect of item position on descriptive statistics, psychometric information, and factor structure of the Pediatric Symptoms Checklist 17-item social-emotional screening instrument (PSC-17). The goal was to determine whether item position, either grouped by factor or mixed across constructs, produced similar results. Desc...
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Preschool has been recognized as an optimal time to provide behavioral and emotional supports to children; however, there is a need to examine the stability, accuracy, and predictive validity of universal emotional and behavioral screening scores in early childhood to inform procedures for repeated screenings across time. The present study included...
Article
The Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) is a screener designed to measure children's behavioral and emotional problems. The measurement invariance of the scale's higher-order factor structure was investigated in the current study. Gender invariance was established through a series of tests for configural invariance (baseline model), metric inva...
Article
This study examined the effect of model size on the chi-square test statistics obtained from ordinal factor analysis models. The performance of six robust chi-square test statistics were compared across various conditions, including number of observed variables (p), number of factors, sample size, model (mis)specification, number of categories, and...
Article
Purpose: Physical activity (PA) promotion among youth is a public health priority, and there is a need for robust surveillance systems to help support such initiatives. Existing youth PA self-report instruments that are used for surveillance lack information regarding the types and contexts of activity. Further, these instruments have limited vali...
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This study examined the performance of the weighted root mean square residual (WRMR) through a simulation study using confirmatory factor analysis with ordinal data. Values and cut scores for the WRMR were examined, along with a comparison of its performance relative to commonly cited fit indexes. The findings showed that WRMR illustrated worse fit...
Article
Screening for emotional and behavioral risk at the preschool level provides an opportunity to inform early intervention and prevention efforts. This study reports initial validation information for the Behavioral Assessment System for Children–Third Edition, Behavioral and Emotional Screening System, Parent Form–Preschool (BASC-3 BESS Parent-P). Us...
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This study examined the Behavior Assessment System for Children–Third Edition Behavioral and Emotional Screening System, Parent Form–Preschool, which is used to identify children at risk for emotional/behavioral problems. Rasch rating scale methods were used to provide information about psychometric properties of items, parent raters, and the respo...
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To assess quality, psychological instruments often include additional scales or validity indices to alert users to the presence of questionable data. Although identified cases are often scrutinized further or removed, it is not fully understood how such cases may affect overall analyses if retained. Using a teacher-report instrument of child behavi...
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. This investigation provides evidence of the structural validity related to scores from the Online Self-Assessment (OSA) Figures scale. This scale was constructed for the assessment of figural reasoning as part of an online self-assessment battery. Since the appropriateness of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of data obtained by dichotomous item...
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When using educational/psychological instruments, psychometric investigations should be conducted before adopting to new environments to ensure that an instrument measures the same constructs. Exploratory structural equation modeling and confirmatory factor analysis methods were used to examine the utility of the short form of the Pediatric Symptom...
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This study presents a mixture Rasch-based approach to investigating method effects associated with negatively worded items to illustrate how responses to this method effect vary depending on group characteristics. Using college students' responses on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale (Rosenberg, M., 1989), four latent classes were identified using si...
Chapter
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There are several assumptions associated with structural equation modeling (SEM) estimation. The two assumptions we focus on in this chapter center on the metric (e.g., continuous, ordered categorical) and distribution (e.g., normal, non-normal) of the data being modeled. Normal theory (NT) estimators. which are employed often in scale construction...
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Measurement of youth's physical activity levels is recommended to ensure that children are meeting recommended activity guidelines. This article describes the creation of an instrument to measure youth's levels of physical activity, where a strong test validation perspective (Benson, 1998) was followed to create the scale. The development process i...
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The underlying structure of the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System, Teacher Rating Scale–Preschool was investigated with a replication sample. Ratings from more than 3,000 students were used and four alternative models were investigated. As with prior research, a bifactor model with four factors was identified. The results supported an (Emer...
Article
The purpose of this study was to conduct further investigations of the latent structure underlying the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System Teacher Rating Scale-Preschool (BESS TRS-P) by examining latent variable differences due to demographic factors of the preschool children being rated. A U.S. representative sample of teacher ratings of mor...
Article
A screening instrument used to identify young children at risk for behavioral and emotional difficulties, the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System Teacher Rating Scale-Preschool was examined. The Rasch Rating Scale Method was used to provide additional information about psychometric properties of items, respondents, and the response scale. Usi...
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The aim of this study was to provide psychometric evidence related to the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System Teacher Rating Scale–Preschool form’s (BESS TRS-P) ability to identify emerging problems in preschool children. Reliability and validity associated with screener scores were compared by analyzing teacher ratings of approximately 700 p...
Chapter
A favorable school climate provides the structure within which students, teachers, administrators, and parents function cooperatively and constructively. Measures of school climate, however, have received only passing interest from policy makers as critical elements in accountability reporting. This study used a state-wide dataset of climate rating...
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Research has demonstrated strong connections among working memory (WM), higher-level cognition, and academic achievement. Despite the importance of WM, currently available WM tests have practical limitations and lack comprehensive coverage of multiple WM components. The Working Memory Battery (WOMBAT) includes nine subtests measuring multiple conte...
Article
This study compared diagonal weighted least squares robust estimation techniques available in 2 popular statistical programs: diagonal weighted least squares (DWLS; LISREL version 8.80) and weighted least squares-mean (WLSM) and weighted least squares-mean and variance adjusted (WLSMV; Mplus version 6.11). A 20-item confirmatory factor analysis was...
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A 2009 National Academies of Sciences report on child mental health prevention and treatment concluded that screening for mental health risk is an essential component of service delivery. To date, however, there are few practical assessments available or practices in place that measure individual child risk, or risk aggregated at the school or comm...
Chapter
Because of the prevalence of both nonnormal and categorical data in empirical research, this chapter focuses on issues surrounding the use of data with these characteristics. Specifically, we review the assumptions underlying NT estimators. We describe nonnormal and categorical data and review robustness studies of the most popular NT estimator, ma...
Article
Screening for emotional and behavioral risk has become more prevalent with young children; however, not much is known about the latent structure for many of the brief instruments currently being used to assess children. Information concerning the latent structure of an instrument is necessary to support use of the scoring information. The underlyin...
Chapter
School climate and its importance to education and student learning have intrigued researchers for approximately 50 years (Anderson, 1982). A favorable school climate provides the structure within which students, teachers, administrators, and parents function cooperatively and constructively. Edmunds (1982) and Lezotte (1990) were prominent in link...
Article
Acquiescence, the tendency to agree with statements regardless of content, is often a concern when administering self-report instruments. While there is evidence to support acquiescence as a response style, this reporting tendency may be related to personality factors of individuals. Using a sample of 757 adults, we investigated the Rosenberg Self-...
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Reports an error in "Factor structure of the BASC-2 Behavioral and Emotional Screening System Student Form" by E. Dowdy, et al. (Psychological Assessment. np). There was an omission in the author note. The author note should have included a disclosure as follows, "Randy W. Kamphaus wishes to disclose a potential conflict of interest in that he rece...
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Students with limited English proficiency (LEP) make up one of the fastest growing segments of the student population; however, LEP status is often related to poor academic and behavioral outcomes. Teacher-reported behavioral rating scales can be informative measurements to screen and identify students at risk for behavioral and emotional problems....
Article
This study compared 3 different methods of creating cut scores for a screening instrument, T scores, receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis, and the Rasch rating scale method (RSM), for use with the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) Teacher Rating Scale for Children and Adolescents (Kamphaus & Reynolds, 2007). Using t...
Article
The BASC-2 Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) Student Form (Kamphaus & Reynolds, 2007) is a recently developed youth self-report rating scale designed to identify students at risk for behavioral and emotional problems. The BESS Student Form was derived from the Behavior Assessment System for Children-Second Edition Self-Report of Pers...
Article
This study examined the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System Teacher Rating System for Children and Adolescents (BESS TRS-CA; Kamphaus & Reynolds, 2007) screener using Rasch Rating Scale model (RSM) methodology to provide additional information about psychometric properties of items. Data from the Behavioral Assessment System for Children Teac...
Article
Transparency and replication are essential features of scientific inquiry, yet scientific communications of applied quantitative research are often lacking in much-needed procedural information. In an effort to promote researchers dissemination of their quantitative studies in a cohesive, detailed, and informative manner, the authors delineate info...
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Universal screening has been routinely advised for determining the presence of problems for initiating problem-solving processes and models. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of two screener development methods on the validity of score inferences for two teacher screeners of child behavioral and emotional risk. The reliability and vali...
Article
The purpose of this article was to examine a typology of child behavior using the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Teacher Rating Scale (BASC TRS-C, 2nd edition; Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2004). The typology was compared with the solution identified from the 1992 BASC TRS-C norm dataset. Using cluster analysis, a seven-cluster solution was ide...
Article
Covariance modeling was used to investigate correlates of method effects associated with negatively worded items on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale (Rosenberg, M., 1989) differentiated by respondent’s sex. Six personality measures thought to be related to the presence of this method effect (e.g., social desirability, evaluations by others, and self...
Article
The Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale (RSE) has been widely used in examinations of sex differences in global self-esteem. However, previous examinations of sex differences have not accounted for method effects associated with item wording, which have consistently been reported by researchers using the RSE. Accordingly, this study examined the multigroup...
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Following an exploratory factor analysis, factor scores may be computed and used in subsequent analyses. Factor scores are composite variables which provide information about an individual's placement on the factor(s). This article discusses popular methods to create factor scores under two different classes: refined and non-refined. Strengths and...
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The authors explored patterns of appraising tests in a large sample of 1st-year college students. Cluster analysis was used to identify homogeneous groups of 1st-year students who shared similar patterns of cognitive appraisals about testing. The authors internally validated findings with an independent sample from the same population of students a...
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The purpose of this study was to document the development of a short behavioral scale that could be used to assess preschoolers' behavior while still retaining adequate scale coverage, reliability, and validity. Factor analysis and item analysis techniques were applied to data from a nationally representative, normative database to create a 23-item...
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This study sought to construct and validate a lifestyle scale that would capture for leisure professionals a more holistic picture of people's interests. A broader profile of their customers would allow recreation professionals to tailor information of their services. Public sector recreation managers could provide better services by learning about...
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Two classification methods, latent class cluster analysis and cluster analysis, are used to identify groups of child behavioral adjustment underlying a sample of elementary school children aged 6 to 11 years. Behavioral rating information across 14 subscales was obtained from classroom teachers and used as input for analyses. Both the procedures an...
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This article used multitrait-multimethod methodology and covariance modeling for an investigation of the presence and correlates of method effects associated with negatively worded items on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem (RSE) scale (Rosenberg, 1989) using a sample of 757 adults. Results showed that method effects associated with negative item phrasing...
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The fifth edition of the Stanford-Binet test went through significant reformulation of its item content, administration format, standardization procedures, and theoretical structure. Additionally, the test was revised to measure five factors important to intelligence across both verbal and nonverbal domains. To better understand these substantial r...