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A measurement model should be equivalent across the different subgroups of a target population. The Decisional Balance Inventory for the Prevention of Alcohol Use is a 2-factor correlated model with 3 items for Pros of alcohol use and 3 items for Cons. The measure is part of a tailored intervention for middle school students. This study evaluated the important psychometric assumptions of factorial invariance and scale reliability with a large sample of sixth grade students (N = 3565) from 20 schools. A measure is factorially invariant when the model is the same across subgroups. Three levels of invariance were assessed, from least restrictive to most restrictive: 1) Configural Invariance (unconstrained nonzero factor loadings); 2) Pattern Identity Invariance (equal factor loadings); and 3) Strong Factorial Invariance (equal factor loadings and measurement errors). Structural equation modeling was used to assess invariance over two levels of gender (male and female), race (white and black), ethnicity (Hispanic and non-Hispanic), and school size (large, indicating > 200 students per grade, or small). The strongest level of invariance, Strong Factorial Invariance, was a good fit for the model across all of the subgroups: gender (CFI: 0.94), race (CFI: 0.96), ethnicity (CFI: 0.93), and school size (CFI: 0.97). Coefficient alpha was 0.61 for the Pros and 0.67 for Cons. Together, invariance and reliability provide strong empirical support for the validity of the measure.

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Creative Commons License
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