The purposes of this study were to (a) assess the measurement of school engagement in prior research that used the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88), (b) systematically develop an improved measurement model for school engagement, and (c) examine the measurement invariance of this model across racial and ethnic groups. Results from confirmatory factor analyses indicated that school engagement should be measured as a multidimensional concept. A higher order measurement model in which behavioral and psychological engagement are second-order latent variables that influence several subdimensions is consistent with the data. Results from a series of multiple group analyses indicated that the proposed measurement model exhibits measurement invariance for White, African American, Latino, and Asian students. Therefore, it is appropriate to compare the effects of the dimensions of engagement across these groups. The results demonstrate the advantages of confirmatory factor analysis for enhancing the understanding and measurement of school engagement.
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