While there is growing awareness for the need to examine the etiology of problem behaviors across cultural, racial, socioeconomic, and gender groups, much research tends to assume that constructs are equivalent and that the measures developed within one group equally assess constructs across groups. The meaning of constructs, however, may differ across groups or, if similar in meaning, measures developed for a given construct in one particular group may not be assessing the same construct or may not be assessing the construct in the same manner in other groups. The aims of this paper were to demonstrate a process of testing several forms of equivalence including conceptual, functional, item, and scalar using different methods. Data were from the Cross-Cultural Families Project, a study examining factors that promote the healthy development and adjustment of children among immigrant Cambodian and Vietnamese families. The process described in this paper can be implemented in other prevention studies interested in diverse groups. Demonstrating equivalence of constructs and measures prior to group comparisons is necessary in order to lend support of our interpretation of issues such as ethnic group differences and similarities.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 15, 2006
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