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Factorial invariance of the statistical anxiety rating scale across sex and students' classification

Author(s): Eric D. Teman

Journal: Comprehensive Psychology
ISSN 2165-2228

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

The Statistical Anxiety Rating Scale (STARS) was used to measure statistics anxiety across 423 graduate and undergraduate students from a midsized university, in the western United States. Students' responses were analyzed using confirma-tory factor analysis (CFA) to assess the validity of scores from the proposed six-factor model, which was well-fitting, according to various adjunct fit indexes. Students' responses were then examined using multigroup CFA to explore factorial invariance across sex and student classification (i.e., undergraduates and graduates). The model was found to be factorially invariant across sex, but not across student classification, possibly meaning graduate and undergraduate students ascribed different meaning to some items. If one ignores the test of factorial invariance, between-groups statistical tests can be unduly influenced by measurement artifacts, sometimes erroneously identifying statistically significant mean differences when there are none.
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