Improving measurement in health education and health behavior research using item response modeling: introducing item response modeling

Health Educ Res. 2006 Dec:21 Suppl 1:i4-18. doi: 10.1093/her/cyl108. Epub 2006 Oct 3.


This paper is the first of several papers designed to demonstrate how the application of item response models in the behavioral sciences can be used to enhance the conceptual and technical toolkit of researchers and developers and to understand better the psychometric properties of psychosocial measures. The papers all use baseline data from the Behavior Change Consortium data archive. This paper begins with an introduction to item response models, including both dichotomous and polytomous versions. The concepts of respondent and item location, model interpretation, standard errors and testing model fit are introduced and described. A sample analysis based on data from the self-efficacy scale is used to illustrate the concepts and techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Education* / methods
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Research Design*
  • Self Efficacy