Investigation of Factor Structure and Measurement Invariance by Gender for the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System Among High School Students

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Abstract

The Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS; Kamphaus & Reynolds, 2007) is used by U.S. schools to screen students for behavioral and emotional risks. The BESS comprises a student form, a teacher form, and a parent form. We explored the factor structure of the BESS Student Form among high school students and evaluated measurement invariance by gender using multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis. The results suggested that the BESS Student Form has a 5-factor structure and holds to partial invariance by gender. The partial invariance model revealed 5 items that functioned differentially. These item-level findings suggest that female and male adolescents have different perspectives about their relationships with their parents, self-esteem, self-reliance, and atypicality. The implications of our study are twofold: The BESS Student Form might be used with female and male adolescents in its current form, but the analysis of the data suggested that possible changes be made in the item content during the next revision.

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