Variance Composition, Measurement Invariance by Gender, and Construct Validity of the Femininity Ideology Scale-Short Form

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Abstract

The current study extended prior work on the Femininity Ideology Scale (FIS), a multidimensional measure of traditional femininity ideology (TFI), in several ways. First, we conducted exploratory factor and bifactor analyses, which revealed a general TFI factor and 3 specific factors: dependence/deference, purity, and emotionality/traditional roles. Second, based on these results we developed the 12-item FIS-Short Form (FIS-SF). Third, we assessed the FIS-SF using confirmatory factor analysis on a separate sample, finding that the items loaded on the general factor and 3 specific factors as hypothesized, and that the bifactor model fit better than common factors and unidimensional models. Fourth, model-based reliability estimates tentatively support the use of raw scores to represent the general TFI factor and the emotionality/traditional roles specific factor, but the other 2 specific factors are best measured using SEM or by ipsatizing their scores. Fifth, we assessed measurement invariance across 2 gender groups, finding evidence for configural invariance for all factors, and for partial metric invariance for the specific factors. Sixth, we found evidence for the convergent construct validity of the FIS-SF general factor and the emotionality/traditional roles specific factors by examining relationships with the latent variables of several constructs in the nomological network. The results are discussed in relationship to prior literature, future research directions, applications to counseling practice, and limitations. Data (N = 1,472, 907 women, 565 men, 530 people of color) were from community and college participants who responded to an online survey.

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