Imputation of Missing Item Responses: Some Simple Techniques

Research paper by Mark Huisman

Indexed on: 01 Nov '00Published on: 01 Nov '00Published in: Quality & quantity


Among the wide variety of procedures to handle missing data, imputingthe missing values is a popular strategy to deal with missing itemresponses. In this paper some simple and easily implemented imputationtechniques like item and person mean substitution, and somehot-deck procedures, are investigated. A simulation study was performed based on responses to items forming a scale to measure a latent trait ofthe respondents. The effects of different imputation procedures onthe estimation of the latent ability of the respondents wereinvestigated, as well as the effect on the estimation of Cronbach'salpha (indicating the reliability of the test) and Loevinger'sH-coefficient (indicating scalability). The results indicate thatprocedures which use the relationships between items perform best,although they tend to overestimate the scale quality.