Measurement Invariance across Groups in Latent Growth Modeling

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factorial invariance, latent growth model, measurement invariance, multiple group analysis, second-order latent growth model

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This Monte Carlo study investigated the impacts of measurement noninvariance across groups on major parameter estimates in latent growth modeling when researchers test group differences in initial status and latent growth. The average initial status and latent growth and the group effects on initial status and latent growth were investigated in terms of Type I error and bias. The location and magnitude of noninvariance across groups was related to the location and magnitude of bias and Type I error in the parameter estimates. That is, noninvariance in factor loadings and intercepts was associated with the Type I error inflation and bias in the parameter estimates of the slope factor (or latent growth) and the intercept factor (or initial status), respectively. As noninvariance became large, the degree of Type I error and bias also increased. Other findings and implications on future studies were discussed.

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Structural Equation Modeling, v. 21, issue 3, p. 408-424.