Methods: A pool of 43 items was developed based on construct definitions of shame and pride that emerged from a previous qualitative study. The items underwent a three-step review, including expert review and cognitive interviews with five sexual minority adolescents. Data to test the psychometrics of the SMIES were collected as part of a longitudinal study looking at minority stress over time among a national sample of sexual minority adolescents. A subsample of 330 participants from the third wave of data collection was used in this study. We split the sample so that 100 cases were used for an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and for testing the internal consistency reliability and convergent validity of the SMIES. The remaining 230 cases were used for a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and multigroup invariance testing across White (n = 125) and non-White (n = 105) respondents. Prevailing measurement standards respective to each analysis were used to evaluate the construction and quality of the SMIES.
Results: The EFA found the SMIES to have a four-factor structure with 29 items exhibiting moderate to strong loadings. The shame and pride subscales had strong internal consistency (α = .94 and .91, respectively). The measure also demonstrated adequate convergent validity with general measures of shame and pride and a measure of internalized homonegativity. Results from the CFA suggests the four-factor structure and covariance between the factors of the SMIES had strong fit with the data, χ2 (371) = 660.089, p = .000, RMSEA = .058, TFI = .971, and CFI = .974. Multigroup invariance testing found the measure to be equivalent across White and non-White participants at the configural- and metric-levels but was partially invariant at the scalar-level.
Conclusion/Implications: Shame and pride about sexual minority identity are discrete constructs from general shame and pride. The shame subscale exhibited stronger correlations to internalized homonegativity than in the existing literature. Findings from the CFA and multigroup invariance test provide additional support for the construct validity of the SMIES. Research should continue investigating the equivalence of the SMIES within sexual minority adolescents of color and across other subgroups of sexual minority adolescents. Research can also use the measure to assess the impact shame and pride have on the development and well-being of sexual minority adolescents.