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The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure-Revised: Measurement Invariance Across Racial and Ethnic Groups

The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure-Revised (MEIM-R), a brief instrument assessing affiliation with one’s ethnic group, is a promising advance in the ethnic identity literature. However, equivalency of its measurement properties across specific racial and ethnic groups should be confirmed before using it in diverse samples. We examined (a) the psychometric properties of the MEIM-R, including factor structure, measurement invariance, and internal consistency reliability, and (b) levels of and differences in ethnic identity across multiple racial and ethnic groups and subgroups. Asian (n = 630), Black/African American (n = 58), Hispanic (n = 240), multiethnic (n = 160), and White (n = 375) women completed the MEIM-R as part of the “Gestational diabetes’ Effect on Moms” diabetes prevention trial in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care setting (N = 1,463; M age = 32.5 years, SD = 4.9). Multiple-groups confirmatory factor analyses provided provisional evidence of measurement invariance, i.e., an equal, correlated 2-factor structure, equal factor loadings, and equal item intercepts across racial and ethnic groups. Latent factor means for the 2 MEIM-R subscales, exploration and commitment, differed across groups; effect sizes ranging from small to large generally supported the notion of ethnic identity as more salient among people of color. Pending replication, good psychometric properties in this large and diverse sample of women support the future use of the MEIM-R. Preliminary evidence of measurement invariance suggests that the MEIM-R could be used to measure and compare ethnic identity across multiple racial and ethnic groups.

Authors: Brown SD; Unger Hu KA; Mevi AA; Hedderson MM; Shan J; Quesenberry CP; Ferrara A

J Couns Psychol. 2014 Jan;61(1):154-61. Epub 2013-11-04.

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