The alignment procedure is a new method for multiple group invariance models. An important advantage of alignment over the traditional methods is that alignment does not require full measurement invariance to estimate group means and variances (Muthén & Asparouhov, 2014). Simulation studies have supported that alignment performs adequately in situations when few items are noninvariant (or function differentially across groups – DIF). In most other studies, the tests were simulated to represent attitudinal surveys (e.g., fewer items, continuous data). In this study, we evaluated how alignment would perform with a typical educational cognitive test – 40 items scored dichotomously. Different patterns of DIF were examined. Results suggest that alignment is fairly robust; the only condition where the recovered parameters were non-trivially biased was when, in addition, to few large DIF items, several moderately DIF items were present. Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that alignment is an adequate procedure for multiple group analyses.
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Satkus, P., & DeMars, C. E. (2020, April). Examining the Performance of the Alignment Method in DIF Analyses. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the the National Council on Measurement in Education, San Francisco, CA. (virtual, conference cancelled)