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Evaluating the Psychometric Properties of the 18-month "Ages and Stages Questionnaires" using a Canadian Sample: Making Inferences about Decision Consistency from Item and Subscale-Level Data Open Access


Other title
developmental screening
Ages and Stages Questionnaires
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Chudnovskaya, Ekaterina
Supervisor and department
Gierl, Mark (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Gokiert, Rebecca (Faculty of Extension)
Poth, Cheryl (Educational Psychology)
Department of Educational Psychology
Measurement, Evaluation and Cognition
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Education
Degree level
Developmental screening tools, such as "Ages and Stages Questionnaires" (ASQ) are an important addition to the pediatric care to identify developmental delays at critical age periods. ASQ questionnaires have demonstrated good psychometric properties in the US context; however sample-dependent methods were used to establish this evidence and set cut-off scores. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the ASQ for 18 month children in the new context – primary care population in a Western Canadian community. A combination of classical test theory and non-parametric item response theory methods for item and subscale analysis were used to make inferences about potential consistency of classifications with the original cut-off scores. Results indicate that (a) cut-off locations do not match the original distribution for most subscales; (b) high probability of misclassification exists for subscales, despite acceptable internal consistency; (c) item difficulty ranges from low to acceptable, but contributes to low discrimination around cut-offs for some subscales; (d) all domains provide lower precision and discrimination at higher ability levels, thus increasing potential of misclassification for children not clearly at risk. Implications of these findings for research and tool use, including scoring and interpretation of results, are discussed.
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