Using the Rasch measurement theory to assess the psychometric properties of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-10 in adolescents
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background The Hopkins Symptom Checklist-10 (HSCL-10) is widely used to measure psychological distress in adolescents. To provide valid and reliable results and generate recommendations for practice and policies, instruments with sound psychometric properties are required. The purpose of this study is to use Rasch measurement theory to assess the psychometric properties of the HSCL-10 among adolescents aged 13–19. Methods In this cross-sectional study, 6445 adolescents responded to a web-based questionnaire. Data were collected from lower and upper secondary schools in Norway during 2018. The data were analysed using the partial credit parameterisation of the unidimensional Rasch model. Results HSCL-10 was found to be unidimensional and to have acceptable reliability. One pair of items showed response dependency. The targeting of the instrument could have been better. All items had ordered thresholds. Three items under-discriminated and three displayed differential item functioning regarding gender. Conclusions HSCL-10 has potential for measuring psychological distress in adolescents, though there is room for improvement. To further improve this instrument, some items should be rephrased.