Kristina A. FreyWilfried Bos

A psychometric analysis of a large-scale social competence inventory for elementary school children


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The present study provides a psychometric analysis of a large-scale inventory that consists of a student self-description questionnaire and a parent questionnaire (24 items each) concerning fourth-grade students’ social competence. Two aspects of the inventory’s construct validity are analyzed: factorial validity is analyzed by examining the factor structure underlying the items through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Convergent and discriminant validity are analyzed in three ways: by examining a multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) matrix of the student and parent questionnaires, gender differences of the inventory’s social competence dimensions, and the relationship of the inventory’s social competence measures to measures of students’ cognitive competence (school grades, standardized test scores and a measure of general cognitive competence). Participants (Nstudents = 4,492, 49 % girls; Nparents = 3,696, 63 % female) were part of the German sample of the international school achievement study Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007. Results suggest that it is largely justified to interpret measures produced by the inventory as appraisals of students’ social competence in a large-scale context.

Social competence; Elementary school; Psychometric analysis; Construct validity; Large-scale assessment; TIMSS 2007