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SPD2001-1
Akemi Kinukawa, M.P.A., Jacinta Bronte-Tinkew, Ph.D., Elizabeth C. Hair, Ph.D., Suzanne Le Menestrel, Ph. D.

Introduction

This document assesses the reliability and validity of several of the child and family well-being measures in the 1998 Wave of the Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD). The first section in each chapter discusses the theoretical relevance of the measure described in that chapter to research on child and family well-being in the context of welfare reform. The second section provides a psychometric assessment of each measure including 1) means and standard errors, 2) non-response analyses, and 3) tests for validity. The non-response analyses examine whether there are any significant differences in demographic characteristics between eligible respondents who answered the question and those who were eligible but did not answer the question. Only socio-demographic characteristics that statistically predict non-response are presented in the chapters. The validity section examines whether a question or index is in fact measuring the theoretical concept that it is intended to measure. If prior research shows that an indicator is strongly related to family income (or other socio-demographic characteristics), populations with different socio-demographic characteristics are expected to have significantly different scores for this measure. If the differences are found, it indicates that the measure is functioning as expected, and therefore suggests that it is measuring what it is intended to measure.

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