Using rasch modeling to measure acculturation in youth

Melinda F. Davis, Mary Adam, Scott Carvajal, Lee Sechrest, Valerie F. Reyna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ethnic differences in health outcomes are assumed to reflect levels of acculturation, among other factors. Health surveys frequently include language and social interaction items taken from existing acculturation instruments. This study evaluated the dimensionality of responses to typical bilinear items in Latino youth using Rasch modeling. Two seven-item scales measuring Anglo-Hispanic orientation were adapted from Marin and Gamba (1996) and Cuellar, Arnold, and Maldonado (1995). Most of the items fit the Rasch model. However, there were gaps in both the Hispanic and Anglo scales. The Anglo items were not well targeted for the sample because most students reported they always spoke English. The lack of variability found in a heterogeneous sample of Latino youth has negative implications for the common practice of relying on language as a measure of acculturation. Acculturation instruments for youth probably need more sensitive items to discriminate linguistic differences, or to measure other factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-338
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of applied measurement
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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