Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 353–367 | Cite as

Measurement Equivalence Across Racial/Ethnic Groups of the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire for Childhood Depression

  • My K. Banh
  • Paul K. Crane
  • Isaac Rhew
  • Gretchen Gudmundsen
  • Ann Vander Stoep
  • Aaron Lyon
  • Elizabeth McCauley


As research continues to document differences in the prevalence of mental health problems such as depression across racial/ethnic groups, the issue of measurement equivalence becomes increasingly important to address. The Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ) is a widely used screening tool for child and adolescent depression. This study applied a differential item functioning (DIF) framework to data from a sample of 6th and 8th grade students in the Seattle Public School District (N = 3,593) to investigate the measurement equivalence of the MFQ. Several items in the MFQ were found to have DIF, but this DIF was associated with negligible individual- or group-level impact. These results suggest that differences in MFQ scores across groups are unlikely to be caused by measurement non-equivalence.


MFQ IRT DIF Depression Measurement equivalence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • My K. Banh
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
  • Paul K. Crane
    • 2
  • Isaac Rhew
    • 3
  • Gretchen Gudmundsen
    • 1
    • 4
  • Ann Vander Stoep
    • 1
    • 5
  • Aaron Lyon
    • 1
  • Elizabeth McCauley
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Social Development Research GroupUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Center for Child Health, Behavior and DevelopmentSeattle Children’s HospitalSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Center for Child and Human DevelopmentGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  7. 7.Department of PsychiatryGeorgetown University HospitalWashingtonUSA

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