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The Consequences of Ignoring Measurement Invariance for Path Coefficients in Structural Equation Models

Guenole, Nigel and Brown, Anna. 2014. The Consequences of Ignoring Measurement Invariance for Path Coefficients in Structural Equation Models. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(980), pp. 1-16. ISSN 1664-1078 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

We report a Monte Carlo study examining the effects of 2 strategies for handling measurement non-invariance - modeling and ignoring non-invariant items - on structural regression coefficients between latent variables measured with Item Response Theory models for categorical indicators. These strategies were examined across 4 levels and 3 types of non invariance – non-invariant loadings, non-invariant thresholds, and combined non-invariance on loadings and thresholds - in simple, partial, mediated and moderated regression models where the non-invariant latent variable occupied predictor, mediator, and criterion positions in the structural regression models. When non-invariance is ignored in the latent predictor, the focal group regression parameters are biased in the opposite direction to the difference in loadings and thresholds relative to the referent group (i.e. lower loadings and thresholds for the focal group lead to overestimated regression parameters). With criterion non-invariance, the focal group regression parameters are biased in the same direction as the difference in loadings and thresholds relative to the referent group. While unacceptable levels of parameter bias were confined to the focal group, bias occurred at considerably lower levels of ignored non-invariance than was previously recognized in referent and focal groups.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00980

Keywords:

measurement equivalence, measurement invariance, Differential Item Functioning, categorical indicators, Item Response Theory, simple regression, partial regression, moderation, mediation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies

Dates:

DateEvent
19 August 2014Accepted
17 September 2014Published Online

Item ID:

10574

Date Deposited:

19 Aug 2014 09:45

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2019 12:13

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/10574

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