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Cheong, Y.F., and Stephen W. Raudenbush. 2000. "Measurement and Structural Models for Children's Problem Behaviors." Psychological Methods, 5(4): 477-495.
This article considers an analytic strategy for measuring and modeling child and adolescent problem behaviors. The strategy embeds an item response model within a hierarchical model to define an interval scale for the outcomes, to assess dimensionality, and to study how individual and contextual factors relate to multiple dimensions of problem behaviors. To illustrate, the authors analyze data from the primary caregiver ratings of 2,177 children aged 9-15 in 79 urban neighborhoods on externalizing behavior problems using the Child Behavior Checklist 4-18 (T. M. Achenbach, 1991a). Two subscales, Aggression and Delinquency, are highly correlated, and yet unidimensionality must be rejected because these subscales have different associations with key theoretically related covariates.