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International Journal on Disability and Human Development

Official journal of the the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel

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Volume 13, Issue 2


Testing factorial invariance across groups: an illustration using AMOS

Lu Yu
  • Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, P.R. China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Daniel T.L. Shek
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, P.R. China
  • Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, P.R. China
  • Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, P.R. China
  • Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, P.R. China
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  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2014-04-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd-2014-0306


One pre-condition to use scale or subscale scores of an instrument to compare different groups on a specific construct is the establishment of factorial invariance (i.e., factor structure is the same across groups). Despite its importance, testing for factorial invariance across groups has been rarely conducted in human development research. In this paper, we describe the importance of conducting factorial invariance tests as well as the related basic theoretical and methodological issues. We then illustrate the process of testing factorial invariance across independent groups using AMOS 17.0. In the demonstration, we examine the factorial invariance of a subjective outcome evaluation form (Form B), designed to be a three-factor structure, in three groups of potential program implementers in Hong Kong (n=2007). As evidenced by the multigroup factorial invariance found in this study, the three-factor model of Form B was cross-validated across different groups of program implementers.

Keywords: AMOS; Chinese; confirmatory factor analysis; factorial invariance


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About the article

Corresponding author: Professor Daniel T.L. Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Associate Vice President (Undergraduate Programme) and Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong, P.R. China, E-mail:

Received: 2013-01-03

Accepted: 2013-02-08

Published Online: 2014-04-12

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: International Journal on Disability and Human Development, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 205–216, ISSN (Online) 2191-0367, ISSN (Print) 2191-1231, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd-2014-0306.

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