Differential item functioning in the cognitive screener used in the Longitudinal Aging Study in India

Ashish Goel, Alden Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: The Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI) was initiated to capture data to be comparable to the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) and hence used study instruments from the HRS. However, a rigorous psychometric evaluation before adaptation of cognitive tests may have indicated bias due to diversities across Indian states such as education, ethnicity, and urbanicity. In the present analysis, we evaluated if items show differential item functioning (DIF) by literacy, urbanicity, and education status.Methods: We calculated proportions for each item and weighted descriptive statistics of demographic characteristics in LASI. Next, we evaluated item-level measurement differences by testing for DIF using the alignment approach implemented using Mplus software.Observation: We found that cognitive items in the LASI interview demonstrate bias by education and literacy, but not urbanicity. Items relating to animal (word) fluency show DIF. The model rates correct identification of the prime minister as the most difficult binary response item whereas the day of the week and numeracy items are rated comparatively easier.Conclusions: Our study would facilitate comparison across education, literacy and urbancity to support analyses of differences in cognitive status. This would help future instrument development efforts by recognizing potentially problematic items in certain subgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1331-1341
Number of pages11
JournalInternational psychogeriatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • LASI
  • Longitudinal Aging Study in India
  • cognition
  • differential item functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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