Measurement Invariance of the WHODAS 2.0 in a Population-Based Sample of Youth
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The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0) is a brief measure of global disability originally developed for adults, which has since been implemented among samples of children and youth. However, evidence of its validity for use among youth, particularly measurement invariance, is lacking. Investigations of measurement invariance assess the extent to which the psychometric properties of observed items in a measure are generalizable across samples. Satisfying the assumption of measurement invariance is critical for any inferences about between-group differences. The objective of this paper was to empirically assess the measurement invariance of the 12-item interview version of the WHODAS 2.0 measure in an epidemiological sample of youth (15 to 17 years) and adults (≥ 18 years) in Canada. Multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis using a categorical variable framework allowed for the sequential testing of increasingly restrictive models to evaluate measurement invariance of the WHODAS 2.0 between adults and youth. Findings provided evidence for full measurement invariance of the WHODAS 2.0 in youth aged 15 to 17 years. The final model fit the data well: χ(2)(159) = 769.04, p < .001; CFI = 0.950, TLI = 0.958, RMSEA (90% CI) = 0.055 [0.051, 0.059]. Results from this study build on previous work supporting the validity of the WHODAS 2.0. Findings indicate that the WHODAS 2.0 is valid for making substantive comparisons of disability among youth as young as 15 years of age.
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