Using Alignment Optimization to Test the Measurement Invariance of Gender Role Attitudes in 59 Countries

Vera Lomazzi

Abstract


Several repeated cross-national surveys include measurements of attitudes toward gender roles to investigate individuals’ beliefs regarding the appropriateness of men and women’s roles in a particular context. When used to compare attitudes across countries, these measurements
reveal critical factors that could cause a lack of equivalence between different cultural contexts, and that could therefore produce misleading results. Nevertheless, the use of such measures to compare country means without assessing measurement equivalence is common. It should also be considered that the assessment of equivalence within
a large-scale sample from cross-sectional surveys through multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (MGCFA) often fails because of the strict requirements necessary.
The current article is used to assess the measurement equivalence of the gender role attitudes scale included in the last wave of the World Values Survey in 59 countries, with the main goal of identifying the most invariant model for the largest number of groups. The study involved comparing two methods belonging to the frequentist approach: MGCFA
and the frequentist alignment procedure, a highly novel and promising method that is still rarely used. Using the first technique, partial scalar invariance was achieved for 27 countries. By employing the frequentist alignment optimization, an acceptable degree of noninvariance was achieved for 35 countries. Thus, the study confirmed the frequentist alignment procedure as a viable alternative to the MGCFA.


Keywords


Alignment; measurement invariance; measurement equivalence; World Values Survey; gender role attitudes; multigroup confirmatory factor analysis

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12758/mda.2017.09

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Copyright (c) 2017 Vera Lomazzi

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