Multidimensional structure and measurement invariance of school engagement

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This study examined the multidimensional structure and measurement invariance of a school engagement instrument using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM), bifactor CFA (BCFA), and bifactor ESEM (BESEM). Participants consisted of 1731 students in Grades 9 - 11 from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development in the United States. The use of the CFA, ESEM, BCFA, and BESEM models was expected to provide more insight into the cross-loading and hierarchical structures of school engagement. We found empirical evidence to support the (a) tripartite factor structure of school engagement, (b) existence of cross-loadings and hierarchical structures, (c) measurement invariance across gender (male vs female) and race (European American vs African American), and (d) expected latent means differences by gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-33
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of School Psychology
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by a grant to Richard M. Lerner, Tufts University, from the National 4-H Council. This work was supported by the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2020.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society for the Study of School Psychology


  • Bifactor models
  • Exploratory structural equation modeling
  • Measurement invariance
  • Multidimensionality
  • School engagement
  • United States


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