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Conceptualizing adverse childhood experiences as a latent factor: Tests of measurement invariance across five racial and ethnic groups


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are conventionally measured using a cumulative-risk index without consideration of distinct measurement properties across racial and ethnic groups. Drawing from the 2018–2020 National Survey of Children's Health (N = 93,759; 48% female; average age: 9.52 years), we assess the measurement invariance of a latent-factor ACE model across five groups: Hispanic children (14%) and non-Hispanic White (73%), Black (7%), Asian/Pacific Islander (5%), and American Indian/Alaskan Native (1%) children. Results support configural and full metric invariance across groups. However, several ACE item thresholds differed across groups. Findings highlight the potential utility of a latent factor approach and underscore the need to assess differences across racial and ethnic groups in terms of the optimal conceptualization and measurement of ACEs. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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