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14-06-2018 | Original Paper

Development and Cross-Cultural Validity of a Brief Measure of Separation-Individuation Insert the full first names of the authors from the metadata

Journal of Child and Family Studies
C. C. Chen, G. B. Richardson, M. H. C. Lai, C. L. Dai, D. G. Hays


Separation from parents is a key aspect of adolescent development and has been linked to a variety of important mental and behavioral health outcomes. Separation-individuation measures were developed in the United States and have been used in Asian contexts. However, no cross-cultural studies have demonstrated that measures of separation-individuation tap the same domains across Asian and American adolescents. This article describes two studies conducted to develop and initially validate a scale for measuring adolescent separation-individuation. Study 1 (n= 300) developed a Brief Measure of Separation-Individuation (BMSI) using Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Item Response Theory. The result was a 32-item BMSI that provided comparable test information to the original 148-item measure. Study 2 examined the BMSI for measurement invariance and convergent validity across U.S. and Taiwanese samples (ns = 231 and 323). Findings suggest that functional independence, attitudinal independence, and emotional independence may be culturally invariant separation-individuation constructs. However, conflictual independence seems to be more culturally dependent in that its items were only partially scalar invariant and it was only loosely related to the other separation-individuation factors. Findings are consistent with previous research that recommended against using total scores for the PSI (i.e., scoring a single separation-individuation dimension). This study suggests the BMSI holds promise as a brief measure of separation-individuation that can be used in cross-cultural research.

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