Measurement invariance of alcohol instruments with Hispanic youth. Academic Article uri icon


  • Despite their widespread use across clinical and research settings, no study has yet investigated the fit of several standard alcohol measures for Hispanic youth, including those used to assess motivation to change, self-efficacy, peer norms, and problem drinking. This study thus served to address this gap by evaluating measurement invariance with substance-using youth.We enrolled a large sample of regular substance-using youth who were involved with the justice system (N=368; 72.9% male; 76.9% Hispanic; M age=16.17years). Similar to the broader Hispanic population of the southwest United States (U.S.), Hispanic youth in the sample were on average 3.5th generation (with at least 1 foreign-born grand-parent). Following standard administration and scoring procedures, all youth completed measures of motivation to change (e.g., readiness rulers, intentions to change), self-efficacy (e.g., drink refusal in social situations), peer norms (e.g., peer norms for substance use), and problem drinking (e.g., substance use quantity/frequency; Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test; Rutgers Alcohol Problems Index; Timeline FollowBack). Measurement equivalence was evaluated via multiple group confirmatory factor analysis.Our results indicated that each measure evaluated herein worked equally well for Hispanic and Caucasian youth. We found measurement invariance at every level tested.This study supports the validity and future use of these important and widely-used alcohol use measures for high-risk substance-using Hispanic youth. Further, given the representativeness of this sample within the southwestern U.S., these results show promise for generalizability to U.S.-born Hispanic youth within this geographic region.Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • March 2015