Differential Item Functioning and Male-Female Differences in a Large-Scale Mathematics Assessment in Trinidad and Tobago: An Examination of Standard 1 Mathematics Assessment


  • Launcelot I. Brown Duquesne University, Pittsburgh
  • Gibbs Y. Kanyongo Duquesne University, Pittsburgh


Mathematics Tests, Academic Achievement, Sex Differences, Primary School Students, Student Evaluation, Primary School Mathematics, Trinidad and Tobago


This study investigates gender differences and the existence of gender-related differential item functioning (DIF) in a large-scale Standard 1 mathematics assessment in Trinidad and Tobago. Although research consistently shows that mathematics scores for male students are usually higher than for female students at the secondary and tertiary level, the differences are not very clear at the primary level. Actually, results from this study show that female students performed slightly better than male students on this examination. Logistic regression procedure was used to detect DIF items, and the results show that about 17 percent of the items in the examination displayed gender-related DIF, however, for all DIF items the effect sizes were negligible.

Author Biographies

Launcelot I. Brown, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh

School of Education, Lecturer

Gibbs Y. Kanyongo, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh

Assistant Professor of Educational Statistics and Research Methods