The items were developed referencing Bandura's construct of self-efficacy by asking respondents about their beliefs in their abilities to engage in civic activities. A focus group of educators and professionals serving students with disabilities helped form the items. The initial validation sample was collected from 278 undergraduate college students at a public southern university in the fall of 2006. University students were selected for their proximity in age to high school students with disabilities, who often stay in school until age 21. The second validation sample was collected from 136 high school students with physical, learning, and behavioral disabilities in the spring of 2007. Both samples utilized paper and pencil surveys.
Initial results guided reduction of item pools to strengthen psychometrics and reduce scale burden. Items were considered for removal if: CFA loadings were .6 or lower, cross-loadings were observed, alpha-if-item-deleted scores predicted improvement, and item content seemed ambiguous or redundant.
The college sample CFA revealed that individual items all loaded well on their intended subscales, with no cross-loading. The final PSE subscale alpha is moderate at .787 (SEM =.287). The other subscales have strong alphas: CP .891 (SEM = .127) and CSSE .844 (SEM = .212). The global alpha remained high at .810 (SEM = .156). All items continue to load strongly on their intended factors. The results of the structural equation modeling using LISREL 8.8 indicate a good model fit: x2/df=1.463, RMSEA=.040, GFI=.94, AGFI=.92, NFI=.98.
The high school sample CFA revealed that all items loaded well on their intended subscales with no cross-loadings. The alphas were all high: PSE .810 (SEM = .321), CP .910 (SEM=.185), CSSE .906 (SEM=.227), and Global .901 (SEM=.183). Using LISREL 8.8 for structural equation modeling revealed the model was a good fit: x2/df=1.65, RMSEA=.070, GFI=..88, AGFI=..83, NFI=.95.
The university sample validity analysis included: discriminant construct, convergent construct, and face. All convergent construct indicators were significant at the .01 level.
Practice Implications: The CES validation results suggest the scale will be a useful tool for educators, practitioners, and researchers for measuring the civic-efficacy of students with disabilities. Implications for tailoring individual transition plans and promoting individual service-learning opportunities preparing such students to live independent and fully integrated lives will be explored.