PROMIS pediatric peer relationships scale: Development of a peer relationships item bank as part of social health measurement

Darren A. DeWalt*, David Thissen, Brian D. Stucky, Michelle M. Langer, Esi Morgan DeWitt, Debra E. Irwin, Jin Shei Lai, B. Yeatts Karin, Heather E. Gross, Olivia Taylor, James W. Varni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Objective: This study's objective was to develop a measure of social health using item response theory as part of the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). Methods: After candidate items were generated from review of prior literature, focus groups, expert input, and cognitive interviews, items were administered to youth aged 8-17 as part of the PROMIS pediatric large scale testing. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to assess dimensionality and to identify instances of local dependence. Items that met the unidimensionality criteria were subsequently calibrated using Samejima's Graded Response Model. Differential item functioning was examined by gender and age. Results: The sample included 3,048 youth who completed the questionnaire (51.8% female, 60% white, and 22.7% with chronic illness). The initial conceptualization of social function and sociability did not yield unidimensional item banks. Rather, factor analysis revealed dimensions contrasting peer relationships and adult relationships. The analysis also identified dimensions formed by responses to positively versus negatively worded items. The resulting 15-item bank measures quality of peer relationships and has strong psychometric characteristics as a full bank or an 8-item short form. Conclusions: The PROMIS pediatric peer relationships scale demonstrates good psychometric characteristics and addresses an important aspect of child health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1103
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Item response theory
  • Peer relationships
  • Social health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'PROMIS pediatric peer relationships scale: Development of a peer relationships item bank as part of social health measurement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this