Measurement Invariance Testing of a Three-Factor Model of Parental Warmth, Psychological Control, and Knowledge Across European and Asian/Pacific Islander American Youth

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Abstract

Although the interpretation and effects of parenting on developmental outcomes may be different across European and Asian/Pacific Islander (API) American youth, measurement invariance of parenting constructs has rarely been examined. Utilizing multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis, we examined whether the latent structure of parenting measures are equivalent or different across European and API American youth. Perceived parental warmth, psychological control, and knowledge were reported by a community sample of 325 adolescents (242 Europeans and 83 APIs). Results indicated that 1 item did not load on mother psychological control for API American youth. After removing this item, we found metric invariance for all parenting dimensions, providing support for cross-cultural consistency in the interpretation of parenting items. Scalar invariance was found for father parenting, whereas 3 mother parenting items were noninvariant across groups at the scalar level. After taking into account several minor forms of measurement noninvariance, noninvariant factor means suggested that API Americans perceived lower parental warmth and knowledge but higher parental psychological control than European Americans. Overall, the degree of measurement noninvariance was not extensive and was primarily driven by a few parenting items. All but 1 parenting item included in this study may be used for future studies across European and API American youth.

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