• Differential item functioning of pathological gambling criteria: an examination of gender, race/ethnicity, and age

      Sacco, Paul; Unick, George Jay; Torres, Luis R., Ph.D.; Cunningham-Williams, Renee M.; Woods, Carol M. (2011-06)
      This study tested for the presence of differential item functioning (DIF) in DSM-IV Pathological Gambling Disorder (PGD) criteria based on gender, race/ethnicity and age. Using a nationally representative sample of adults from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), indicating current gambling (n = 10,899), Multiple Indicator-Multiple Cause (MIMIC) models tested for DIF, controlling for income, education, and marital status. Compared to the reference groups (i.e., Male, Caucasian, and ages 25-59 years), women (OR = 0.62; P < .001) and Asian Americans (OR = 0.33; P < .001) were less likely to endorse preoccupation (Criterion 1). Women were more likely to endorse gambling to escape (Criterion 5) (OR = 2.22; P < .001) but young adults (OR = 0.62; P < .05) were less likely to endorse it. African Americans (OR = 2.50; P < .001) and Hispanics were more likely to endorse trying to cut back (Criterion 3) (OR = 2.01; P < .01). African Americans were more likely to endorse the suffering losses (OR = 2.27; P < .01) criterion. Young adults were more likely to endorse chasing losses (Criterion 9) (OR = 1.81; P < .01) while older adults were less likely to endorse this criterion (OR = 0.76; P < .05). Further research is needed to identify factors contributing to DIF, address criteria level bias, and examine differential test functioning.