Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 10, Issue 2, 2018

Article 5
Standardization of Parental Assessments of Child Adjustment in Trinidad and Tobago Using Exploratory Multidimensional Item Response Theory

Jessica L. Chao
Paul A. McDermott
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Marley W. Watkins
Baylor University, Waco

Michael J. Rovine
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Anna Rhoad-Drogalis
The Ohio State University, Columbus

Frank C. Worrell
University of California, Berkeley

Tracey E. Hall
Center for Applied Special Technology, Wakefield


Psychologists consider many sources of information when assessing the needs of children with behavioural difficulties, including child observation by teachers and parents. This study reports on the psychometric properties of the Adjustment Scales for Children and Adolescents-Home Edition (ASCA-H) in Trinidad and Tobago from an item response theory perspective. The ASCA-H is a contextually-based rating scale intended to collect information from parents on behaviours observable in the home that are relevant to identifying sociobehavioural problems. The sample was comprised of students (N = 731) attending government and assisted schools across Trinidad and Tobago. Exploratory full-information factor analysis yielded three robust and meaningful dimensions: Aggressive, Reticent/Withdrawn, and Irascible/Attention-Seeking. Bayesian scores were used in HLM models to investigate variance explained in measures of academic achievement, learning behaviours, and teacher ratings of behavioural maladjustment. Age, gender, and ethnic differences were also explored. The current article demonstrates the application of multidimensional IRT factor analysis for revealing psychological dimensions of child adjustment and scaling and scoring those dimensions for research and practice in Trinidad and Tobago.