Research on maltreatment exposure often demonstrates mixed findings and a potential explanation for this may be the measurement of maltreatment. One approach for addressing measurement concerns, which also accounts for maltreatment’s multidimensional nature, is the use of a measurement or latent model. However, there is minimal evidence on the generalizability of this approach across populations of youth. This study examined measurement invariance of a one-factor maltreatment model across two samples of youth exposed to maltreatment using case file data from the SPARK and LONGSCAN datasets (N = 1286). Results showed that only partial metric invariance could be established for the one-factor model between SPARK and LONGSCAN subsamples, and neglect and emotional abuse indicators tended to show low factor loadings. Findings highlight the need to consider how potential differences in documentation and maltreatment rates influence model performance and the need for research on which maltreatment characteristics may best capture youths’ experiences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology