Date of Award

8-12-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Carolyn F. Furlow - Chair

Second Advisor

Philo A. Hutcheson

Third Advisor

Sheryl A. Gowen

Fourth Advisor

Phillip E. Gagne

Abstract

Unlike multilevel data with a purely nested structure, data that are cross-classified not only may be clustered into hierarchically ordered units but also may belong to more than one unit at a given level of a hierarchy. In a cross-classified design, students at a given school might be from several different neighborhoods and one neighborhood might have students who attend a number of different schools. In this type of scenario, schools and neighborhoods are considered to be cross-classified factors, and cross-classified random effects modeling (CCREM) should be used to analyze these data appropriately. A common problem in any type of multilevel analysis is the presence of missing data at any given level. There has been little research conducted in the multilevel literature about the impact of missing data, and none in the area of cross-classified models. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of data that are missing completely at random (MCAR), missing at random (MAR), and missing not at random (MNAR), on CCREM estimates while exploring multiple imputation to handle the missing data. In addition, this study examined the impact of including an auxiliary variable that is correlated with the variable with missingness (the level-1 predictor) in the imputation model for multiple imputation. This study expanded on the CCREM Monte Carlo simulation work of Meyers (2004) by the inclusion of studying the effect of missing data and method for handling these missing data with CCREM. The results demonstrated that in general, multiple imputation met Hoogland and Boomsma’s (1998) relative bias estimation criteria (less than 5% in magnitude) for parameter estimates under different types of missing data patterns. For the standard error estimates, substantial relative bias (defined by Hoogland and Boomsma as greater than 10%) was found in some conditions. When multiple imputation was used to handle the missing data then substantial bias was found in the standard errors in most cells where data were MNAR. This bias increased as a function of the percentage of missing data.

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