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Canadian Journal of School Psychology

http://cjs.sagepub.com Measurement Invariance of the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents With Respect to Sex and Age Cohorts
Sandra Prince-Embury and Troy Courville Canadian Journal of School Psychology 2008; 23; 26 originally published online Apr 4, 2008; DOI: 10.1177/0829573508316590 The online version of this article can be found at: http://cjs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/23/1/26

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Measurement Invariance of the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents With Respect to Sex and Age Cohorts
Sandra Prince-Embury
Resiliency Institute of Allenhurst LLC

Canadian Journal of School Psychology Volume 23 Number 1 June 2008 26-40 2008 Sage Publications 10.1177/0829573508316590 http://cjsp.sagepub.com hosted at http://online.sagepub.com

Troy Courville
Pearson

Abstract: This article examines invariance of the three-factor structure of the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents across age band and gender within normative samples. Confirmatory factor analysis reveals that the three-factor model fits for all groups. In addition, invariance analysis shows no statistical differences in factor structure between males and females. A three-group confirmatory factor analysis across age bands demonstrated partial invariance between age bands. Rsum: Dans cet article, nous examinons linvariance de la structure trois facteurs des Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents, diverses tranches dges et pour chaque sexe, dans un chantillon normatif. Une analyse factorielle confirmatoire rvle que le modle trois facteurs concorde pour tous les groupes. De plus, une analyse de linvariance ne dnote aucune diffrence statistique dans la structure factorielle entre les garons et les filles. Selon une analyse factorielle confirmatoire trois groupes, il existe une invariance partielle entre les tranches dges. Keywords: resiliency; measurement invariance; gender; age

he Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents (RSCA; Prince-Embury, 2006, 2007) is based on three theoretical constructs selected from a review of developmental theory: sense of mastery, sense of relatedness, and emotional reactivity. See the work of Garmezy, Luthar, Masten, Cicchetti, Werner, and others cited in the reference section for more extensive reviews of this literature (Garmezy, Masten, & Tellegen, 1984; Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000; Luthar & Zigler, 1991; Masten, 2001; Masten & Obradovic, 2007; Rutter, 1987; Werner & Smith, 1982, 1992). These three constructs together may be used as a framework for understanding personal resiliency (Prince-Embury, 2006, 2007). The three-construct model underlying the RSCA represents an organizational adaptive perspective that employs hypothetical constructs to better understand the ongoing adaptation of the individual (Shiner & Caspi, 2003).
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Prince-Embury, Courville / Measurement Invariance of the RSCA 27

The RSCA as an assessment tool for personal resiliency is distinct in that it represents the perspective that resiliency is multidimensional as opposed to previous treatments that have presumed a one-dimensional (resilient or not resilient) or twodimensional (protective vs. risk) model (for a discussion, see Prince-Embury & Courville, 2008 [this issue]). The premise underlying the RSCA is that personal resiliency may be conceptualized by three constructs and the relationship of these factors to one another (Prince-Embury, 2006, 2007). These constructs are estimated and quantified by the three global RSCA scales collectively composed of 10 subscales. In previous analyses, a three-factor structure corresponding to the three constructs of the RSCA was compared for goodness of fit with one- and two-factor models using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA; Prince-Embury & Courville, 2008). This analysis indicated that the three-factor model had the best fit, supporting the current scale and subscale configuration of the RSCA and indirectly supporting the theoretical framework represented by the RSCA. The purpose of the present study is to build on the previous analysis to test for measurement invariance of this structure across gender and across three age bands: 9 to 11, 12 to 14, and 15 to 18.

Consistency of Personal Resiliency Across Age and Gender


Resiliency theory is somewhat silent on the issue of invariance of personal resiliency across gender and age band because much of the research looks at resilience as a complex interaction between environment and individual that would change with specific circumstances. According to this thinking, highly stable levels of resiliency would be unlikely in the face of changing life circumstances (Cicchetti, Rogosch, Lynch, & Holt, 1993). Concern about consistency across age has been the province of those interested in characteristics of personal resiliency as a trait or characteristic of the individual. Block and Block (1980) discussed the notion of ego resiliency, which encompassed a set of traits reflecting general resourcefulness and sturdiness of character and flexibility in functioning in response to varying environmental circumstances. The assumption of trait theories is that even the most complex aspects of human functioning have their origin in early childhood. If this is indeed the case, core constructs that make up resiliency should be recognizable in childhood and traceable into adolescence. Shiner and Caspi (2003) discussed the importance of identifying core measurable individual differences in childhood and describing the processes through which early temperament differences become elaborated in adult personality structure and lifelong adaptation. These authors reported that personality continuity in childhood and adolescence is much higher than originally expected (cf. Lewis, 2001). The question of developmental continuity of resiliency constructs has practical as well as theoretical significance. Continuity of the structure of personal resiliency would allow longitudinal tracking of children from early childhood into adolescence using the same tools, whereas an assumption of inconsistency or qualitative change would not. Continuity of the structure of personal resiliency

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would suggest that preparation for and success in facing difficult circumstances might better prepare an individual for dealing with future difficulties; noncontinuity would not support this assumption. Previous research of stability of factor structure of personal resiliency across age cohort suggests that there is some consistency across childhood but differences between childhood and adulthood (Bennett, Novotny, Green, & Kluever, 1998). In addition, invariance of factor structure across sex is necessary to justify consistency of interpretation for males and females. Block studied 130 American children from ages 3 to 23 using a structured interview and found consistency in ego resiliency from childhood through adolescents for boys. He found general stability of resiliency during childhood and during adolescence through young adulthood for girls but a shift in resiliency between the two developmental phases. Block and Kremen (1996) found considerable stability in an inventory measure of resiliency from age 18 to 23 for a small group of females but less for males. Bennett et al. (1998) found differences in factorial structure of personal resiliency across gender (Jew, 1991). These authors found that a three-factor model was a good fit for males but not for females. These authors further suggested that there is a more amorphous structure for personal resiliency in females. They explained that differences in socialization and normative expectations for males and females might lead to gender differences in the structure of personal resiliency. For example, they suggested that the importance of independence may vary across gender in ways that are consistent with different social expectations. Other studies of related measures across gender have suggested invariance. Kim, Brady, and Murray (2003) found invariance across gender for a measure of early adolescent temperament. Obradovic, van Dulmen, Yates, Carlson, and Egeland (2006) also found invariance of structure of competence across gender. In summary, the question of measurement invariance across age band and gender for the factor structure of the RSCA has practical significance for the use of the instrument across different age and gender groups and for longitudinal tracking of individuals. The question also has implications for the robustness of the constructs underlying the scales across age and gender. The design of the RSCA was informed by these issues, so that items were constructed to express complex constructs in sentences that were easy to read and structurally simple. Similarly, item construction took gender bias of content into consideration (see Prince-Embury, 2007). In this way, the RSCA was designed to control for reading level and gender bias in content, which might have confounded findings of variance across gender and age band in previous research.

Samples
Three samples of youth were sampled from four U.S. census regions, split by gender and stratified to match the U.S. census by race and parent education within sex and year of age: children ages 9 to 11 (n = 226), 12 to 14 (n = 224), and 15 to

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Prince-Embury, Courville / Measurement Invariance of the RSCA 29

18 (n = 200) (for details, see Prince-Embury, 2007). A stratified sampling plan ensured that the standardization samples included representative proportions of children according to each selected demographic variable. An analysis of data gathered by the U.S. Bureau of the Census (2002, 2003) provided the basis for stratification by race/ethnicity and education level within year of age. Distribution of the standardization sample also approximated stratification across four census regions of the United States. Ethnicity of the adolescent sample was as follows: 66% White, 15% Hispanic, 15% African American, and 4% Other. Parent education level was distributed as follows: 22% had less than 12 years, 36% had 12 years, 28% had 13 to 15 years, and 15% had 16 years or more. Ethnicity of the child samples was 59% white, 17% African American, 18% Hispanic, 6% Other. Parent education level was as follows: 14% had less than 12 years, 27% had 12 years, 33% had 13 to 15 years, and 26% had 16 or more years of education. The RSCA was administered to children individually and took an average of 5 to 10 minutes to complete depending on the age and reading level of the child. Participants were paid $10.

Instrument
The RSCA is a suite of three self-report scales, Sense of Mastery (20 items), Sense of Relatedness (24 items), and Emotional Reactivity (20 items), consisting of a total of 64 items (Prince-Embury, 2006, 2007). The Sense of Mastery scale consists of three subscales: Optimism, Self-Efficacy, and Adaptability. The Sense of Relatedness scale consists of four subscales: Trust, Perceived Social Support, Comfort, and Tolerance. The Emotional Reactivity scale consists of three subscales: Sensitivity, Recovery, and Impairment. Item responses are in Likert-type format. Response options are frequency based, ordered on a 5-point Likert-type scale: 0 (never), 1 (rarely), 2 (sometimes), 3 (often), and 4 (almost always). Items were written at a third grade reading level. Assessment of resiliency across age is complicated by measurement issues such as reading level of words and sentence complexity. The design of the RSCA took this into account by breaking constructs down into items written in as simple language as possible. The reading level of the item was reduced to the lowest reading level possible without compromising the meaning of the constructs being assessed. As a check on reading level, the scales were examined using the Flesh Kincaid program associated with Microsoft Word. Individual words were examined for reading level using A Revised Core Vocabulary (Taylor, Frackenpohl, & White, 1969). Words above a third grade reading level were replaced. As an additional check, items were submitted to a panel of test development specialists to ensure that the items were appropriate for children aged 9 and older (Prince-Embury, 2007). Also, in assessing gender differences, it is important to distinguish the basic construct from differences in wording that may be sex role biased. Items for the RSCA were written to be gender neutral. Bias analysis

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30 Canadian Journal of School Psychology

Table 1 Coefficient Alphas for the Standardization Samples by Gender With Three Age Bands
Ages 9 to 11 Resiliency Subscales, Item # Optimism (7) Self-Efficacy (10) Adaptability (3) Trust (7) Access to Support (6) Social Comfort (4) Tolerance (7) Sensitivity (6) Recovery (4) Impairment (10) Sense of Mastery Sense of Relatedness Emotional Reactivity Female (n = 113) .64 .76 .59 .79 .74 .75 .70 .74 .83 .89 .83 .89 .90 Male (n = 113) .73 .77 .52 .77 .68 .76 .66 .76 .82 .87 .86 .89 .90 Ages 12 to 14 Female (n = 112) .78 .84 .64 .84 .71 .82 .77 .78 .74 .89 .89 .91 .91 Male (n = 112) .77 .82 .58 .81 .74 .80 .73 .81 .86 .87 .89 .90 .91 Ages 15 to 18 Female (n = 100) .90 .91 .79 .90 .83 .86 .86 .85 .86 .90 .95 .95 .93 Male (n = 100) .88 .91 .84 .89 .86 .89 .87 .86 .88 .94 .94 .95 .95

Note: Reliability coefficients for Sense of Mastery, Sense of Relatedness, and Emotional Reactivity are composite reliability estimates.

by comparison of item means was conducted, and items reflecting gender bias were replaced or modified. Table 1 displays alpha coefficients for RSCA scales and subscales by gender within three age bands. Evidence for internal consistency was good to excellent for all three global scales across three age bands for females and males. Alpha coefficients were generally adequate to good at the subscale level with the exception of the Adaptability subscale, which consists of only three items. Coefficients were comparable across gender with a few exceptions (see Table 1). Alpha coefficients generally increased with age for females and males, consistent with the notion of increased crystallization of underlying constructs with increased development. One exception was a decrease in alpha coefficient for females for the Recovery subscale, between the first and second age band.

Results
Measurement Invariance of the RSCA
The research questions pertaining to the measurement invariance across sex and age, using the three-factor model of the RSCA, were examined in the following

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Prince-Embury, Courville / Measurement Invariance of the RSCA 31

Table 2 Fit Indices for Three-Factor Confirmatory Factor Analysis Model of Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents by Gender
Group Females (n = 325) Males (n = 325) SB2 50.5508* 64.4944** df 32 32 NFI .954 .947 NNFI .975 .961 CFI .983 .972 RMSEA .042 .056 RMSEA 90% CI .017.064 .036.076

Note: NFI = normed fit index; NNFI = nonnormed fit index; CFI = comparative fit index; RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation; CI = confidence interval. *p < .05. **p < .001.

ways. First, configural invariance was tested by fitting the correlated three-factor model in each group with no constraints concerning the equality of the model estimates. Second, invariance of the measurement model was tested fitting the threefactor model and constraining the factor weights equal across the groups. Finally, the structural model was tested for invariance by using the same method as in Step 2 but also constraining the factor covariances to be equal.

Across Gender
Table 2 provides the fit indices for the three-factor CFA of the RSCA by females (n = 325) and males (n = 325). The Satorra-Bentler chi-square statistic was statistically significant for both females (S-B2 = p < .05) and males (S-B2 = p < .001). The other fit indices indicated that the model fit reasonably well for both the females and the males, with the model fitting the females slightly better. Combining the data from Table 2, the configural model in Table 3 is formed. The Satorra-Bentler chisquare statistic for the configural model is statistically significant (S-B2 = p < .0001). The other fit statistics (CFI = .98, RMSEA = .035) indicate good model fit. This indicates that the correlated three-factor structure holds across males and females. Model 1 in Table 3 provides information for the invariance of the measurement model across groups. In the case of Model 2, not only is the general structure of the model the same between males and females, but also the factor pattern coefficients are constrained to be equal for both groups. Because of the additional constraints, Model 2 will not fit better than Model 1. However, measurement invariance would hold for the measurement model if the change in the chi-square statistics is not statistically significant. For Model 2, the change in the Satorra-Bentler chisquare statistic is not statistically significant (S-B2 = p > .05). Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude the measurement invariance of the measurement model seems to hold across males and females. The final step in this analysis is to compare Model 3, which constrains not only the structural model and the factor weight equal but also factor covariances, to Model 1. For Model 3, the change in the Satorra-Bentler

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32 df 64 71 .976 .034 .024.044 2 vs. 1 8.084 .977 .035 .024.045 CFI RMSEA RMSEA 90% CI ML2 Model Comparison SB2 8.179 df 7 CFI .001 74 .977 .033 .023.042 3 vs. 2 1.590 1.370 3 .000

Table 3 Test for Invariance of Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents Across Gender

Model

ML2

SB2

139.3400

115.1156**

147.4240

124.0375**

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Model 1 configural (no constraints) Model 2 measurement model invariance (factor weights constrained) Model 3 structural model invariance (factor weights and covariances constrained)

149.0140

125.4939**

Note: NFI = normed fit index; NNFI = nonnormed fit index; CFI = comparative fit index; RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation; CI = confidence interval. S-B2 based on corrected formula. *p < .05. **p < .0001.

Prince-Embury, Courville / Measurement Invariance of the RSCA 33

Table 4 Fit Indices for Three-Factor Confirmatory Factor Analysis Model of Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents by Age Grouping
Group 9 to 11 (n = 226) 12 to 14 (n = 224) 15 to 18 (n = 200) SB2 57.7183* 70.4881** 37.2050 df 32 32 32 NFI .927 .923 .951 NNFI .952 .938 .990 CFI .966 .956 .993 RMSEA .060 .073 .029 RMSEA 90% CI .034.084 .050.096 .000.062

Note: NFI = normed fit index; NNFI = nonnormed fit index; CFI = comparative fit index; RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation; CI = confidence interval. *p < .01. **p < .0001.

chi-square statistic is also not statistically significant (S-B2 = p > .05). Therefore, measurement invariance for the RSCA seems to hold across gender.

Across Age
Table 4 provides the fit indices for the three-factor CFA of the RSCA by three age groups: examinees who are 9 to 11 (n = 226), 12 to 14 (n = 224), and 15 to 18 (n = 200). The Satorra-Bentler chi-square statistic was statistically significant for both ages 9 to 11 (S-B2 = p < .01) and ages 12 to 14 (S-B2 = p < .0001). Looking at the other fit indices, the correlated three-factor model seems to fit reasonably well for the examinees ages 9 to 11 and adequately well for ages 12 to 14. The model fit very well for examinees in the 15 to 18 age range, with a Satorra-Bentler chi-square statistic that was not statistically significant (S-B2 = p > .05), and the majority of the fit indices were well above the acceptable level. Based on these results, it is reasonable to question whether measurement invariance will hold. The question is to what degree the measurement invariance holds. Table 5 presents the test for invariance across age. The Satorra-Bentler chi-square statistic for the configural model is statistically significant (S-B2 = p < .0001). The other fit statistics (CFI = .97, RMSEA = .033) indicate good model fit. This indicates that the correlated three-factor structure holds across all ages. For measurement model invariance, the change in the Satorra-Bentler chi-square statistic is statistically significant (S-B2 = p < .05). This indicates that, across age, the RSCA has partial measurement model invariance. To locate the noninvariant parameters, the Lagrange multiplier test (LMTest) 2 was used. Probability values for the LM2 less than .05 for the constrained parameters indicate noninvariance (Byrne & Watkins, 2003). Based on the univariate increment LM2, the Social Comfort subscale (LM2 1vs.2 = 4.412 p < .05; LM2 1vs.3 = 7.959, p < .01) was not invariant across age, whereas Recovery (LM2 1vs.3 = 5.761, p < .05) was not invariant across ages 9 to 11 and 15 to 18 but was for 9 to 11 and

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34 df 96 110 .966 .033 .025.041 2a vs. 1 24.128* .970 .033 .024.042 24.083* CFI RMSEA RMSEA 90% CI ML2 SB2 Model Comparison df 14 CFI .004 107 .970 .031 .025.041 2b vs. 1 9.0840 9.230 11 .000 113 .969 .031 .023.039 3 vs. 2b 11.3030 9.881 6 .001

Table 5 Test for Invariance of Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents Across Age

Model

ML2

SB2

194.950

164.500**

219.078

188.570**

204.034

175.220**

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Model 1 configural (no constraints) Model 2 measurement model invariance (factor weights constrained) Model 2b measurement model invariance (invariant factor weights constrained) Model 3 structural model invariance (factor covariances and invariant factor weights constrained)

215.337

185.100**

Note: NFI = normed fit index; NNFI = nonnormed fit index; CFI = comparative fit index; RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation; CI = confidence interval. S-B2 based on corrected formula. *p < .05. **p < .0001.

Prince-Embury, Courville / Measurement Invariance of the RSCA 35

12 to 14. Model 2b in Table 5 provides the test for invariance after the factor weights for Social Comfort were freed across all the age bands and the factor weights for Recovery were freed for the age band 15 to 18. For Model 2b, the change in the Satorra-Bentler chi-square statistic is not statistically significant (S-B2 = p > .05). To test for structural model invariance, the structural model and factor covariances were constrained equally. Also, all of the factor pattern coefficients were constrained equally except ones found to not be invariant. For Model 3, the change in the SatorraBentler chi-square statistic was not statistically significant (S-B2 = p > .05). Therefore, based on the decision criteria used in this study, partial measurement invariance was found to hold across the ages. Table 6 provides the pattern coefficients for each tested model across age band. Table 7 provides the structure coefficients, which are the correlation coefficients between the latent variable or variables and the measured variable (Graham, Guthrie, & Thompson, 2003). Note that when a measured variable is allowed to load on a given factor, the factor pattern coefficient for the measured variable on the factor is equal to the structure coefficient between the measured variable and the factor. Tables 6 and 7 are provided to further illustrate patterns of variance and invariance across age band.

Discussion
Overall, the integrity of the factor structure of the RSCA was invariant across gender. Comparison across gender indicates that there are no significant differences between males and females in the pattern of subscale loadings on all three factors. The three-factor model fit for both males and females. The implication of this finding for use of the RSCA is that the instrument may be used in its current configuration for males and females between the ages of 9 and 18. However, this finding is inconsistent with previous findings of gender differences using different instruments (Bennett et al., 1998). Lack of differences in this analysis suggests that perhaps previous differences were related to the way in which the construct was defined and assessed. Attention to possible gender bias in wording of self-report items or in ratings by others should be considered as alternative explanations when differences are found. However, it must be noted that findings of no sex differences in factor structure do not prove that no sex differences in structure of personal resiliency exist. Findings are always limited to the specific instrument used and to sample size. Perhaps larger sample sizes that would allow comparison of structure across gender for more narrow age bands would have uncovered more subtle gender differences. This examination might be pursued in future research. Invariance of RSCA factor structure across gender is not the same as quantitative gender differences on RSCA scale or subscale scores. Minimal differences by gender for children ages 9 to 11 are reported in the manual (Prince-Embury, 2007). Girls

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36 Ages 12 to 14 (n = 224) Sense of Mastery .830 .823 .581 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .800 .618 .763 .000 .000 .000 .833 .731 .644 .858 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .846 .822 .718 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 Sense of Relatedness Emotional Reactivity Sense of Mastery Ages 15 to 18 (n = 200) Sense of Relatedness .000 .000 .000 .867 .831 .720 .851 .000 .000 .000 Emotional Reactivity .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .739 .761 .836 Emotional Reactivity .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .710 .568 .826

Table 6 Factor Pattern for Three-Factor Confirmatory Factor Analysis Model of Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents by Age Grouping

Ages 9 to 11 (n = 226)

Resiliency Scales

Sense of Mastery

Sense of Relatedness

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Optimism Self-Efficacy Adaptability Trust Access to Support Social Comfort Tolerance of Differences Sensitivity Recovery Impairment

.694 .841 .650 .000 .000 .000 .000

.000 .000 .000 .806 .707 .787 .760

.000 .000 .000

.000 .000 .000

Table 7 Structure Coefficients for Three-Factor Confirmatory Factor Analysis Model of Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents by Age Grouping
Ages 12-14 (n = 224) Sense of Mastery .830 .823 .581 .726 .680 .638 .736 .445 .391 .435 .341 .300 .333 .800 .618 .763 .724 .721 .606 .833 .731 .644 .858 .454 .452 .380 .348 .326 .306 .353 .846 .822 .718 .851 .833 .776 .843 .657 .666 .699 Sense of Relatedness Emotional Reactivity Sense of Mastery Ages 15-18 (n = 200) Sense of Relatedness .841 .829 .774 .867 .831 .720 .851 .566 .574 .602 Emotional Reactivity .703 .693 .647 .613 .600 .558 .607 .739 .761 .836

Ages 9-11 (n = 226) Emotional Reactivity .367 .404 .355 .286 .268 .283 .278 .710 .568 .826

Resiliency Scales

Sense of Mastery

Sense of Relatedness

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Optimism Self-Efficacy Adaptability Trust Access to Support Social Comfort Tolerance of Differences Sensitivity Recovery Impairment

.694 .841 .650 .746 .699 .737 .724

.692 .762 .670 .806 .707 .787 .760

.371 .332 .400

.269 .240 .290

Note: Values from Table 6 and Table 7 are equal when a subscale is modeled to load on the latent factor.

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38 Canadian Journal of School Psychology

in this age group reported more sense of mastery and sense of relatedness than did boys. However these differences were not found in the older age bands. Further examination of these early quantitative gender differences and their trajectories might be a topic of future research. Separate but related areas of examination are gender differences in the ways that personal resiliency is expressed and in risks that are gender or sex role specific. Partial factor invariance was found across age band, although the three-factor model was shown to apply for all three age bands. Partial invariance is accounted for by changes of the subscale loadings for two subscales on their respective factors. This represents a relatively small change in that the three core factors and eight subscales did not significantly change. The practical significance of the two subscale differences was minimal in that subscales were not weighted within scale score. More detailed analysis indicates that these changes are accounted for by two subscales: Social Comfort of the Relatedness factor and Recovery of the Emotional Reactivity factor. Factor pattern coefficients are shown in Table 6. The Social Comfort subscale loading changes between the youngest and oldest age band. Comfort with others starts out as the second most salient subscale of Sense of Relatedness for children ages 9 to 11 and ends up being the least salient Sense of Relatedness subscale for adolescents. This suggests that basic comfort, which may be based in temperament, plays a more important role in Sense of Relatedness for younger children than it does for older children and adolescents. In fact, Comfort with others loads higher on Sense of Mastery than on Sense of Relatedness for adolescents, suggesting that in adolescence comfort with others may be experienced as a competency to some extent. The second significant source of variance in factor pattern across age band was increase in loading of the Recovery subscale on the Emotional Reactivity factor between each successively older age bands. These findings may be interpreted in the following way. First, normal development allows and requires more control of emotions or self-regulation by children, with increasing age. Increased age brings greater variance in the ability to recover quickly from upset, as some children develop the ability to recover and others do not. As these individual differences emerge, recovery time varies more consistently with sensitivity and impairment with increasing age.

Limitations and Implications for Future Research


The analysis of invariance across age band was based on three samples of just more than 200 each. This size is small for an authoritative analysis of differences across age that might slightly differ by gender. Future research should attempt to replicate these analyses in larger groups. It is possible that slight differences that appeared as nonsignificant trends would prove to be significant with larger groups. Also, comparison of age groups configured differently might reveal different results.

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Prince-Embury, Courville / Measurement Invariance of the RSCA 39

This study of invariance across age was conducted on normative samples that included only 5% of clinical cases. Therefore, invariance across age found in these samples might not necessarily apply to clinical samples. An analysis of invariance of factor structure across clinical and nonclinical groups would be of interest. Such analyses might inform ways in which development of psychopathology involves alteration of the structure of resiliency for some individuals. In addition, research on the invariance of the model across ethnic group and parent education level would be interesting. Research on the differences across age looking at these variables would address the possible limitation of this study presented by different U.S. census stratifications of these variables across child and adolescent samples. Invariance of the factor structure of the RSCA across age is necessary for use of the scales in their current form and configuration. However, invariance of structure across age band is not a guarantee of consistency within individuals across time and development. Longitudinal analysis looking at the stability of the structure of resiliency and consistency in the same individuals across development would be invaluable. Finally, it should be noted that this study of invariance applied for ages 9 to 18. Therefore, whether the RSCA retains the same structure in adult samples is a question for future research.

Summary
This study supports the use of the RSCA in its current configuration for female and male youth between the ages of 9 and 18. Invariance of structure is necessary for use of these scales in longitudinal tracking of individuals, for analysis of quantitative changes in scale scores over time, for quantitative comparison of males and females across age bands, and for reliable understanding of resiliency profiles across time and across gender. Findings of this study support the use of the RSCA in these pursuits.

References
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Sandra Prince-Embury, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and family therapist and author of the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents and the Family Health Tree. Her research has included the psychological impact of technological disaster. Currently, she provides therapy services for youth and families as well as consultation and training through the Resiliency Institute of Allenhurst LLC. Troy Courville, PhD, is a psychometrician with Pearson. His research interests include the application of measurement theory and multivariate statistics to clinical populations.

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