Natalie Koziol, a CYFS graduate student affiliate in educational psychology, recently received the 2010-2011 Folsom Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award. The award recognizes distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level.
Koziol’s thesis is titled “Evaluating Measurement Invariance with Censored Ordinal Data: A Monte Carlo Comparison of Alternative Model Estimators and Scales of Measurement.” In it, Koziol addresses the statistical testing of measurement invariance, which assumes that a scale measures the same construct when used across time or groups. She specifically evaluates how several factors, including sample size and the non-normality of data, influence the validity of statistical conclusions. She also examines how the effects of these factors vary according to measurement models and estimators.
Based on the results of her analyses, Koziol makes recommendations for the appropriate use of statistical models across a range of scenarios commonly encountered by educational and psychological researchers. These recommendations should help researchers make more informed statistical decisions and increase the likelihood of meaningful conclusions about developmental trends and differences among groups.
Koziol is advised by Dr. James Bovaird, the director of CYFS’ Statistics and Research Methodology Unit. In addition to receiving a $500 honorarium and commemorative plaque, Koziol has been invited to attend an awards reception held during the spring 2011 semester.
The Folsom Awards are made possible through a donation from the family of Lowe R. and Mavis M. Folsom to the University of Nebraska Foundation. They annually recognize an outstanding master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation on the basis of scholarly content, methodology, clarity and contribution to the field.
CYFS offers its sincerest congratulations to Natalie and wishes her continued success. To view Natalie’s complete thesis, click here.