Factor Analytic Replication and Model Comparison of the BASC-2 Behavioral and Emotional Screening System

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We conducted this study to add to literature of previous conflicting factorial examinations of the BASC-2 Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS), Teacher Form—Child/Adolescent. Data were collected by an urban school district in the southeastern United States including 2,228 students rated by 120 teachers in Fall 2014 and 1,955 students rated by 104 teachers in Spring 2015. In both samples, we replicated and then conceptually and statistically compared factor models to examine the (a) 4-factor structure from which the BESS Teacher Form was developed, and (b) existence of a general factor currently being used. Previous studies examined the 4-factor and bifactor structure of the BESS Teacher Form on separate samples. Our model comparison results support a multidimensional interpretation. We recovered similar fit statistics and standardized factor loadings as previous factor analyses. However, measures of variance accounted for by the general factor were below recommended thresholds of a unidimensional construct. We recommend advancing a factorial model that represents a weighted combination of general and specific factors, but do not support continued use of a unidimensional total T score. Limitations and implications of the study are discussed.

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