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The Value Added of the ASU Spirit Squad to Sun Devil Athletics

Description

Several studies on cheerleading as a sport can be found in the literature; however, there is no research done on the value added to the experience at a university, to an athletic department or at a particular sport. It has

Several studies on cheerleading as a sport can be found in the literature; however, there is no research done on the value added to the experience at a university, to an athletic department or at a particular sport. It has been the feeling that collegiate and professional cheerleaders are not given the appropriate recognition nor credit for the amount of work they do. This contribution is sometimes in question as it depends on the school and the sports teams. The benefits are believed to vary based on the university or professional teams. This research investigated how collegiate cheerleaders and dancers add value to the university sport experience. We interviewed key personnel at the university and conference level and polled spectators at sporting events such as basketball and football. We found that the university administration and athletic personnel see the ASU Spirit Squad as value added but spectators had a totally different perspective. The university acknowledges the added value of the Spirit Squad and its necessity. Spectators attend ASU sporting events to support the university and for the entertainment. They enjoy watching the ASU Spirit Squad perform but would continue to attend ASU sporting events even if cheerleaders and dancers were not there.

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2017-05

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A continuous latent factor model for non-ignorable missing data in longitudinal studies

Description

Many longitudinal studies, especially in clinical trials, suffer from missing data issues. Most estimation procedures assume that the missing values are ignorable or missing at random (MAR). However, this assumption leads to unrealistic simplification and is implausible for many cases.

Many longitudinal studies, especially in clinical trials, suffer from missing data issues. Most estimation procedures assume that the missing values are ignorable or missing at random (MAR). However, this assumption leads to unrealistic simplification and is implausible for many cases. For example, an investigator is examining the effect of treatment on depression. Subjects are scheduled with doctors on a regular basis and asked questions about recent emotional situations. Patients who are experiencing severe depression are more likely to miss an appointment and leave the data missing for that particular visit. Data that are not missing at random may produce bias in results if the missing mechanism is not taken into account. In other words, the missing mechanism is related to the unobserved responses. Data are said to be non-ignorable missing if the probabilities of missingness depend on quantities that might not be included in the model. Classical pattern-mixture models for non-ignorable missing values are widely used for longitudinal data analysis because they do not require explicit specification of the missing mechanism, with the data stratified according to a variety of missing patterns and a model specified for each stratum. However, this usually results in under-identifiability, because of the need to estimate many stratum-specific parameters even though the eventual interest is usually on the marginal parameters. Pattern mixture models have the drawback that a large sample is usually required. In this thesis, two studies are presented. The first study is motivated by an open problem from pattern mixture models. Simulation studies from this part show that information in the missing data indicators can be well summarized by a simple continuous latent structure, indicating that a large number of missing data patterns may be accounted by a simple latent factor. Simulation findings that are obtained in the first study lead to a novel model, a continuous latent factor model (CLFM). The second study develops CLFM which is utilized for modeling the joint distribution of missing values and longitudinal outcomes. The proposed CLFM model is feasible even for small sample size applications. The detailed estimation theory, including estimating techniques from both frequentist and Bayesian perspectives is presented. Model performance and evaluation are studied through designed simulations and three applications. Simulation and application settings change from correctly-specified missing data mechanism to mis-specified mechanism and include different sample sizes from longitudinal studies. Among three applications, an AIDS study includes non-ignorable missing values; the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test data have no indication on missing data mechanism and it will be applied to a sensitivity analysis; the Growth of Language and Early Literacy Skills in Preschoolers with Developmental Speech and Language Impairment study, however, has full complete data and will be used to conduct a robust analysis. The CLFM model is shown to provide more precise estimators, specifically on intercept and slope related parameters, compared with Roy's latent class model and the classic linear mixed model. This advantage will be more obvious when a small sample size is the case, where Roy's model experiences challenges on estimation convergence. The proposed CLFM model is also robust when missing data are ignorable as demonstrated through a study on Growth of Language and Early Literacy Skills in Preschoolers.

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2013

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Three-level multiple imputation: a fully conditional specification approach

Description

Currently, there is a clear gap in the missing data literature for three-level models.

To date, the literature has only focused on the theoretical and algorithmic work

required to implement three-level imputation using the joint model (JM) method of

imputation, leaving relatively no

Currently, there is a clear gap in the missing data literature for three-level models.

To date, the literature has only focused on the theoretical and algorithmic work

required to implement three-level imputation using the joint model (JM) method of

imputation, leaving relatively no work done on fully conditional specication (FCS)

method. Moreover, the literature lacks any methodological evaluation of three-level

imputation. Thus, this thesis serves two purposes: (1) to develop an algorithm in

order to implement FCS in the context of a three-level model and (2) to evaluate

both imputation methods. The simulation investigated a random intercept model

under both 20% and 40% missing data rates. The ndings of this thesis suggest

that the estimates for both JM and FCS were largely unbiased, gave good coverage,

and produced similar results. The sole exception for both methods was the slope for

the level-3 variable, which was modestly biased. The bias exhibited by the methods

could be due to the small number of clusters used. This nding suggests that future

research ought to investigate and establish clear recommendations for the number of

clusters required by these imputation methods. To conclude, this thesis serves as a

preliminary start in tackling a much larger issue and gap in the current missing data

literature.

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2015

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The impact of partial measurement invariance on between-group comparisons of latent means for a second-order factor

Description

A simulation study was conducted to explore the influence of partial loading invariance and partial intercept invariance on the latent mean comparison of the second-order factor within a higher-order confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) model. Noninvariant loadings or intercepts were generated

A simulation study was conducted to explore the influence of partial loading invariance and partial intercept invariance on the latent mean comparison of the second-order factor within a higher-order confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) model. Noninvariant loadings or intercepts were generated to be at one of the two levels or both levels for a second-order CFA model. The numbers and directions of differences in noninvariant loadings or intercepts were also manipulated, along with total sample size and effect size of the second-order factor mean difference. Data were analyzed using correct and incorrect specifications of noninvariant loadings and intercepts. Results summarized across the 5,000 replications in each condition included Type I error rates and powers for the chi-square difference test and the Wald test of the second-order factor mean difference, estimation bias and efficiency for this latent mean difference, and means of the standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA).

When the model was correctly specified, no obvious estimation bias was observed; when the model was misspecified by constraining noninvariant loadings or intercepts to be equal, the latent mean difference was overestimated if the direction of the difference in loadings or intercepts of was consistent with the direction of the latent mean difference, and vice versa. Increasing the number of noninvariant loadings or intercepts resulted in larger estimation bias if these noninvariant loadings or intercepts were constrained to be equal. Power to detect the latent mean difference was influenced by estimation bias and the estimated variance of the difference in the second-order factor mean, in addition to sample size and effect size. Constraining more parameters to be equal between groups—even when unequal in the population—led to a decrease in the variance of the estimated latent mean difference, which increased power somewhat. Finally, RMSEA was very sensitive for detecting misspecification due to improper equality constraints in all conditions in the current scenario, including the nonzero latent mean difference, but SRMR did not increase as expected when noninvariant parameters were constrained.

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2016

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A test and confidence set for comparing the location of quadratic growth curves

Description

Quadratic growth curves of 2nd degree polynomial are widely used in longitudinal studies. For a 2nd degree polynomial, the vertex represents the location of the curve in the XY plane. For a quadratic growth curve, we propose an approximate confidence

Quadratic growth curves of 2nd degree polynomial are widely used in longitudinal studies. For a 2nd degree polynomial, the vertex represents the location of the curve in the XY plane. For a quadratic growth curve, we propose an approximate confidence region as well as the confidence interval for x and y-coordinates of the vertex using two methods, the gradient method and the delta method. Under some models, an indirect test on the location of the curve can be based on the intercept and slope parameters, but in other models, a direct test on the vertex is required. We present a quadratic-form statistic for a test of the null hypothesis that there is no shift in the location of the vertex in a linear mixed model. The statistic has an asymptotic chi-squared distribution. For 2nd degree polynomials of two independent samples, we present an approximate confidence region for the difference of vertices of two quadratic growth curves using the modified gradient method and delta method. Another chi-square test statistic is derived for a direct test on the vertex and is compared to an F test statistic for the indirect test. Power functions are derived for both the indirect F test and the direct chi-square test. We calculate the theoretical power and present a simulation study to investigate the power of the tests. We also present a simulation study to assess the influence of sample size, measurement occasions and nature of the random effects. The test statistics will be applied to the Tell Efficacy longitudinal study, in which sound identification scores and language protocol scores for children are modeled as quadratic growth curves for two independent groups, TELL and control curriculum. The interpretation of shift in the location of the vertices is also presented.

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2015

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A comparison of DIMTEST and generalized dimensionality discrepancy approaches to assessing dimensionality in item response theory

Description

Dimensionality assessment is an important component of evaluating item response data. Existing approaches to evaluating common assumptions of unidimensionality, such as DIMTEST (Nandakumar & Stout, 1993; Stout, 1987; Stout, Froelich, & Gao, 2001), have been shown to work well under

Dimensionality assessment is an important component of evaluating item response data. Existing approaches to evaluating common assumptions of unidimensionality, such as DIMTEST (Nandakumar & Stout, 1993; Stout, 1987; Stout, Froelich, & Gao, 2001), have been shown to work well under large-scale assessment conditions (e.g., large sample sizes and item pools; see e.g., Froelich & Habing, 2007). It remains to be seen how such procedures perform in the context of small-scale assessments characterized by relatively small sample sizes and/or short tests. The fact that some procedures come with minimum allowable values for characteristics of the data, such as the number of items, may even render them unusable for some small-scale assessments. Other measures designed to assess dimensionality do not come with such limitations and, as such, may perform better under conditions that do not lend themselves to evaluation via statistics that rely on asymptotic theory. The current work aimed to evaluate the performance of one such metric, the standardized generalized dimensionality discrepancy measure (SGDDM; Levy & Svetina, 2011; Levy, Xu, Yel, & Svetina, 2012), under both large- and small-scale testing conditions. A Monte Carlo study was conducted to compare the performance of DIMTEST and the SGDDM statistic in terms of evaluating assumptions of unidimensionality in item response data under a variety of conditions, with an emphasis on the examination of these procedures in small-scale assessments. Similar to previous research, increases in either test length or sample size resulted in increased power. The DIMTEST procedure appeared to be a conservative test of the null hypothesis of unidimensionality. The SGDDM statistic exhibited rejection rates near the nominal rate of .05 under unidimensional conditions, though the reliability of these results may have been less than optimal due to high sampling variability resulting from a relatively limited number of replications. Power values were at or near 1.0 for many of the multidimensional conditions. It was only when the sample size was reduced to N = 100 that the two approaches diverged in performance. Results suggested that both procedures may be appropriate for sample sizes as low as N = 250 and tests as short as J = 12 (SGDDM) or J = 19 (DIMTEST). When used as a diagnostic tool, SGDDM may be appropriate with as few as N = 100 cases combined with J = 12 items. The study was somewhat limited in that it did not include any complex factorial designs, nor were the strength of item discrimination parameters or correlation between factors manipulated. It is recommended that further research be conducted with the inclusion of these factors, as well as an increase in the number of replications when using the SGDDM procedure.

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2013

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Chi-square orthogonal components for assessing goodness-of-fit of multidimensional multinomial data

Description

It is common in the analysis of data to provide a goodness-of-fit test to assess the performance of a model. In the analysis of contingency tables, goodness-of-fit statistics are frequently employed when modeling social science, educational or psychological data where

It is common in the analysis of data to provide a goodness-of-fit test to assess the performance of a model. In the analysis of contingency tables, goodness-of-fit statistics are frequently employed when modeling social science, educational or psychological data where the interest is often directed at investigating the association among multi-categorical variables. Pearson's chi-squared statistic is well-known in goodness-of-fit testing, but it is sometimes considered to produce an omnibus test as it gives little guidance to the source of poor fit once the null hypothesis is rejected. However, its components can provide powerful directional tests. In this dissertation, orthogonal components are used to develop goodness-of-fit tests for models fit to the counts obtained from the cross-classification of multi-category dependent variables. Ordinal categories are assumed. Orthogonal components defined on marginals are obtained when analyzing multi-dimensional contingency tables through the use of the QR decomposition. A subset of these orthogonal components can be used to construct limited-information tests that allow one to identify the source of lack-of-fit and provide an increase in power compared to Pearson's test. These tests can address the adverse effects presented when data are sparse. The tests rely on the set of first- and second-order marginals jointly, the set of second-order marginals only, and the random forest method, a popular algorithm for modeling large complex data sets. The performance of these tests is compared to the likelihood ratio test as well as to tests based on orthogonal polynomial components. The derived goodness-of-fit tests are evaluated with studies for detecting two- and three-way associations that are not accounted for by a categorical variable factor model with a single latent variable. In addition the tests are used to investigate the case when the model misspecification involves parameter constraints for large and sparse contingency tables. The methodology proposed here is applied to data from the 38th round of the State Survey conducted by the Institute for Public Policy and Michigan State University Social Research (2005) . The results illustrate the use of the proposed techniques in the context of a sparse data set.

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2011

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Applying academic analytics: developing a process for utilizing Bayesian networks to predict stopping out among community college students

Description

Many methodological approaches have been utilized to predict student retention and persistence over the years, yet few have utilized a Bayesian framework. It is believed this is due in part to the absence of an established process for guiding educational

Many methodological approaches have been utilized to predict student retention and persistence over the years, yet few have utilized a Bayesian framework. It is believed this is due in part to the absence of an established process for guiding educational researchers reared in a frequentist perspective into the realms of Bayesian analysis and educational data mining. The current study aimed to address this by providing a model-building process for developing a Bayesian network (BN) that leveraged educational data mining, Bayesian analysis, and traditional iterative model-building techniques in order to predict whether community college students will stop out at the completion of each of their first six terms. The study utilized exploratory and confirmatory techniques to reduce an initial pool of more than 50 potential predictor variables to a parsimonious final BN with only four predictor variables. The average in-sample classification accuracy rate for the model was 80% (Cohen's κ = 53%). The model was shown to be generalizable across samples with an average out-of-sample classification accuracy rate of 78% (Cohen's κ = 49%). The classification rates for the BN were also found to be superior to the classification rates produced by an analog frequentist discrete-time survival analysis model.

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2015

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Multilevel multiple imputation: an examination of competing methods

Description

Missing data are common in psychology research and can lead to bias and reduced power if not properly handled. Multiple imputation is a state-of-the-art missing data method recommended by methodologists. Multiple imputation methods can generally be divided into two broad

Missing data are common in psychology research and can lead to bias and reduced power if not properly handled. Multiple imputation is a state-of-the-art missing data method recommended by methodologists. Multiple imputation methods can generally be divided into two broad categories: joint model (JM) imputation and fully conditional specification (FCS) imputation. JM draws missing values simultaneously for all incomplete variables using a multivariate distribution (e.g., multivariate normal). FCS, on the other hand, imputes variables one at a time, drawing missing values from a series of univariate distributions. In the single-level context, these two approaches have been shown to be equivalent with multivariate normal data. However, less is known about the similarities and differences of these two approaches with multilevel data, and the methodological literature provides no insight into the situations under which the approaches would produce identical results. This document examined five multilevel multiple imputation approaches (three JM methods and two FCS methods) that have been proposed in the literature. An analytic section shows that only two of the methods (one JM method and one FCS method) used imputation models equivalent to a two-level joint population model that contained random intercepts and different associations across levels. The other three methods employed imputation models that differed from the population model primarily in their ability to preserve distinct level-1 and level-2 covariances. I verified the analytic work with computer simulations, and the simulation results also showed that imputation models that failed to preserve level-specific covariances produced biased estimates. The studies also highlighted conditions that exacerbated the amount of bias produced (e.g., bias was greater for conditions with small cluster sizes). The analytic work and simulations lead to a number of practical recommendations for researchers.

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2015

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Posterior predictive model checking in Bayesian networks

Description

This simulation study compared the utility of various discrepancy measures within a posterior predictive model checking (PPMC) framework for detecting different types of data-model misfit in multidimensional Bayesian network (BN) models. The investigated conditions were motivated by an applied research

This simulation study compared the utility of various discrepancy measures within a posterior predictive model checking (PPMC) framework for detecting different types of data-model misfit in multidimensional Bayesian network (BN) models. The investigated conditions were motivated by an applied research program utilizing an operational complex performance assessment within a digital-simulation educational context grounded in theories of cognition and learning. BN models were manipulated along two factors: latent variable dependency structure and number of latent classes. Distributions of posterior predicted p-values (PPP-values) served as the primary outcome measure and were summarized in graphical presentations, by median values across replications, and by proportions of replications in which the PPP-values were extreme. An effect size measure for PPMC was introduced as a supplemental numerical summary to the PPP-value. Consistent with previous PPMC research, all investigated fit functions tended to perform conservatively, but Standardized Generalized Dimensionality Discrepancy Measure (SGDDM), Yen's Q3, and Hierarchy Consistency Index (HCI) only mildly so. Adequate power to detect at least some types of misfit was demonstrated by SGDDM, Q3, HCI, Item Consistency Index (ICI), and to a lesser extent Deviance, while proportion correct (PC), a chi-square-type item-fit measure, Ranked Probability Score (RPS), and Good's Logarithmic Scale (GLS) were powerless across all investigated factors. Bivariate SGDDM and Q3 were found to provide powerful and detailed feedback for all investigated types of misfit.

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2014