This study used two measurement models for ordered response alternatives -- the Rating Scale model and the Partial Credit model -- to build a fear-of-crime variable from college students' responses to a nine-item questionnaire. The comparison of these two analyses provides insight into the two models' similarities and differences.
While the Rating Scale model constrains the pattern of step difficulties to be the same from item to item, the Partial Credit model estimates the difficulties of the individual steps in each item. The Partial Credit analysis exposes a finer structure in the fear-of-crime variable. This fine structure is lost in the Rating Scale analysis which underestimates the difficulty of the first step and overestimates the difficulty of the second and third steps. While these differences are small, they make sense and thus provide additional insight into the nature of the fear-of-crime variable. Tables, the questionnaire, equations, other illustrations, and nine references are supplied. (Author abstract modified)
Date Published: January 1, 1982