, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 109-132

Testing for local dependency in dichotomous and polytomous item response models

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Researchers studying item response models are often interested in examining the effects of local dependency on the validity of the resulting conclusion from statistical inference. This paper focuses on the detection of local dependency. We provide a framework for viewing local dependency within dichotomous and polytomous items that are clustered by design, and present a testing procedure that allows researchers to specifically identify individual item pairs that exhibit local dependency, while controlling for false positive rate. Simulation results from the study indicate that the proposed method is effective. In addition, a discussion of its relation to other existing methods is provided.

The research was supported under the National Assessment of Educational Progress (Grant No. R902B990007) administered by the National Center of Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. This work was started when the author was at the Division of Statistics and Psychometrics at the Educational Testing Service. I thank Juliet Shaffer for her comments on the multiple testing procedure. I also thank three anonymous referees and the Associate Editor for suggestions that greatly improved the presentation of the manuscript.