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Measuring change for a multidimensional test using a generalized explanatory longitudinal item response model


*Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Sun-Joo Cho, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203-5721, USA (e-mail:


Even though many educational and psychological tests are known to be multidimensional, little research has been done to address how to measure individual differences in change within an item response theory framework. In this paper, we suggest a generalized explanatory longitudinal item response model to measure individual differences in change. New longitudinal models for multidimensional tests and existing models for unidimensional tests are presented within this framework and implemented with software developed for generalized linear models. In addition to the measurement of change, the longitudinal models we present can also be used to explain individual differences in change scores for person groups (e.g., learning disabled students versus non-learning disabled students) and to model differences in item difficulties across item groups (e.g., number operation, measurement, and representation item groups in a mathematics test). An empirical example illustrates the use of the various models for measuring individual differences in change when there are person groups and multiple skill domains which lead to multidimensionality at a time point.