Measurement Invariance of Psychotic-Like Symptoms as Measured With the Prodromal Questionnaire, Brief Version (PQ-B) in Adolescent and Adult Population Samples

Ulla Lång, Vijay Anand Mittal, Jason Schiffman, Sebastian Therman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Valid measurement of group differences in self-reported psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) requires knowing any group-specific measurement properties of the instruments. We investigated the measurement invariance of the 21-item Prodromal Questionnaire–Brief (PQ-B) questionnaire across gender, ethnic minority/majority status, and presence of depressive symptoms in two different US non-clinical undergraduate samples (N = 1,099). For each item, endorsement of the experience and the associated distress were combined for analysis. A unidimensional model of the PQ-B fit the data well. Across genders, the PQ-B showed configural and metric, but not full scalar invariance; there were statistically significant differences in eight thresholds of six items, most being higher endorsement thresholds for self-identified females. Partial scalar invariance was also found for ethnic status, with five thresholds of three items being higher for the minority participants. For depressive symptomatology, defined as the top quintile by the Beck Depression Inventory–II, partial scalar invariance required dropping one item, after which there were statistically significant differences only in two response thresholds. Overall, a wide range of PLE questionnaire items were found to be robust to gender and ethnicity effects, strengthening confidence in found group differences in PLEs. Although full scalar invariance could not be ascertained for any of the group comparisons, the few found scalar differences across groups were small, with minimal impact on group PLE estimates. However, since PLEs are easily conceptually entangled with depression symptoms, similar items should be considered for exclusion if separable constructs are the target of investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number593355
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 21 2021

Keywords

  • PQ-B
  • differential item functioning (DIF)
  • measurement invariance (MI)
  • perceptual abnormalities
  • psychopathology
  • psychotic experiences
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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