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Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly D. Bradley


The release of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) started a new chapter of education in the United States. The ESSA emphasizes the importance of preschool education; the act states that more resources will be devoted to preschool education, which lays the foundation for children’s school learning process. The goal of the act is to make sure children enter kindergarten education with equal preparatory. School, family, and researchers are paying more attention to developing preschool children’s social and emotional competency before entering Kindergarten. For understanding preschool children’s social and emotional skill development situation, instrument is the mostly widely adopted method by researchers. The quality of the instrument adopted to measure children’s’ competency play an important role in getting reliable measurement results.

Therefore, the Rasch model validation method was adopted in this study to assess The Feeling Friend instrument which was designed to measure preschool children’s social and emotional ability. Rasch model remedy multiple flaws of classic test theory validation method. The Rasch model can provide multiple validity and reliability diagnoses from multiple perspectives. In this study, the Rasch model validation diagnoses including reliability, validity, single item fit, DIF, and category threshold are adopted to provide a validation guide for researchers to apply the Rasch model in assessing their self-design instrument based on their research needed. The Rasch model can also provide a solution to assess instruments with a small item sample or for a small number sample, such as an evaluation of instrument quality, single item fit, and rating scale. In this study, equating method (stacking) was then adopted to assess the children’s competency in social and emotional change over time.

Through use of Rasch validation model, researchers can better design and modify instruments ensure measurement quality, and the results collected from the instrument would be more reliable and trustable.

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