Testing measurement invariance of second-order factor models

Fang Fang Chen, Karen H. Sousa, Stephen West

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

790 Scopus citations


We illustrate testing measurement invariance in a second-order factor model using a quality of life dataset (n = 924). Measurement invariance was tested across 2 groups at a set of hierarchically structured levels: (a) configural invariance, (b) first-order factor loadings, (c) second-order factor loadings, (d) intercepts of measured variables, (e) intercepts of first-order factors, (f) disturbances of first-order factors, and (g) residual variances of observed variables. Given that measurement invariance at the factor loading and intercept levels was achieved, the latent factor mean difference on the higher order factor between the groups was also estimated. The analyses were performed on the mean and covariance structures within the framework of the confirmatory factor analysis using the LISREL 8.51 program. Implications of second-order factor models and measurement invariance in psychological research were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-492
Number of pages22
JournalStructural Equation Modeling
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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