Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2003
Publication Date: 4/23/2004
Citation: Connell, C.L., Nord, M., Lofton, K., Rehner, T., Yadrick, K. 2004. Cognitive testing and scaling analysis of food security survey module for children [abstract]. Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 18(4):A488. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Cognitive interviewing methods were used to adapt questions from the U.S. Food Security Survey Module for administration to children/teens. Individual concurrent probing techniques were used to assess understanding of the items with 20 African American adolescents (10 Males, 10 Females, ages 11-13). Item wording and response sets were revised, and small groups of boys (n=5) and girls (n=14) were asked to complete the nine-item survey. Retrospective probing techniques were used to assess comprehension of items and response sets. Eight items were then piloted in a school safety/health survey in three Mississippi school districts. Surveys were administered by trained interviewers in a group setting to children in grades 5, 7, 9, and 11. Scaling analysis of the 343 complete surveys using statistical methods based on the Rasch measurement model indicated that the module measures primarily a single underlying phenomenon (food insecurity) with sufficient reliability to be a useful tool. The measurable range of food insecurity was about six times the size of the estimated measurement error, indicating that the scale could identify three categories of food security with reasonable reliability. Overall fit of the response data to the Rasch model was similar for boys (n=138) and girls (n=176) and for younger (age 8-12, n=189) and older (age 13-18, n=153) children. Support: ERS/USDA cooperative agreement #43-3AEM-2-80033.