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Psychological measurement
Child development
Cultural adaptation
Issue Date: 
Springer Singapore
Waschl, N., & Chen, M. (2022). Cross-cultural considerations for adapting valid psychoeducational assessments. In O. S. Tan, K. K. Poon, B. A. O'Brien, & A. Rifkin-Graboi (Eds.), Early childhood development and education in Singapore (pp. 113-140). Springer Singapore.
Accurate measurement of children’s understanding and learning is essential for educational practice – in order to identify individual needs, evaluate pedagogical effects, and ultimately inform broader education policy. Much research and practice in child learning and development is predicated on accurate measurement. However, most common measurement instruments (tests, surveys) have been developed and validated in Western contexts. While these measures may be broadly appropriate for use in Singapore, they may not exhibit the same measurement properties and validity as reported in other contexts and may require modification. This chapter will thus focus on the need for locally validated and culturally appropriate measures in Singapore and the factors that may influence the development and adaptation of such measures.

Specifically, this chapter will consider how the unique context of Singapore differs from Western contexts and how these contextual factors relate to and can inform the adaptation and use of different types of measurement instruments: self- and other-report inventories, norm-referenced standardised tests, and computerised adaptive tests (CATs). For example, norm-referenced measures which seek to compare a child to his or her peers require a valid frame of reference which is not necessarily provided by internationally standardised and normed measures, while CATs allow for more individualised and efficient testing experiences.

In summary, this chapter will use concrete examples of test adaptation and development as well as evaluations of the measurement properties of internationally validated measures to highlight issues regarding cross-cultural measurement in the context of childhood development in Singapore. Implications for practitioners will be highlighted.
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