Evaluation of the Parent-report Inventory of Callous-unemotional Traits in a Sample of Children Recruited from Intimate Partner Violence Services: A Multidimensional Rasch Analysis

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Graduate School of Social Work


CU traits, Domestic violence, Children, Latinos, MIRT



Our study applied multidimensional item response theory (MIRT) to compare structural models of the parent‐report version of the Inventory of Callous and Unemotional Traits (ICU; English and North American Spanish translations).


A total of 291 maternal caregivers were recruited from community‐based domestic violence services and reported on their children (77.9% ethnic minority; 47% female), who ranged in age from 7 to 12 years (mean = 9.07, standard deviation = 1.64). We compared 9 models that were based on prior psychometric evaluations of the ICU.


MIRT analyses indicated that a revised 18‐item version comprising 2 factors (callous–unemotional and empathic–prosocial) was more suitable for our sample. Differential item functioning was found for several items across ethnic and language groups, but not for child gender or age. Evidence of construct validity was found.


We recommend continued research and revisions to the ICU to better assess the presence of callous–unemotional traits in community samples of school‐age children.

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