Omat työkalut

Tiina Lautamo, Marja-Leena Laakso, Tuija Aro, Timo Ahonen, and Kari Törmäkangas (in press)

Validity of the Play Assessment for Group Settings: An evaluation of differential item functioning between children with specific language impairment and typically developing peers.

Australian Occupational Therapy Journal.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the validity evidence based on internal
structure of the Play Assessment for Group Settings (PAGS).
Methods: The study was conducted in day care centres by comparing observations of
the free play performance of two groups of children: those with specific language
impairments (n=55) and those with typical language development (n=55). The
participating children were 3 to 6.5 years of age. Data were subjected to many-faceted
Rasch analyses and differential item functioning analysis was conducted to identify
possible group-specific items in the PAGS. The effect of differentially functioning
items on mean play performance measurements between two subgroups of children
was controlled with two different independent samples t-tests.
Results: According to the results, 80% of the test items were stable across the groups
of children. Four items were harder for children with specific language impairment,
and clearly required language skills. Two items were relatively speaking easier for
children with specific language impairment, and reflected explorative functioning.
The differential functioning items did not affect the ability of the PAGS to separate
the children with specific language impairment in mean play performance from their
typically developing peers.
Conclusions: We concluded that the PAGS is a valid tool for identifying children who
have challenges in their play performance and can be used for clinical purposes.
However, the slight variability supports the fact that differential item functioning
should be controlled in research when using the PAGS for comparison of different
subgroups in play performance.

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