Abstract: Examining the Psychometric Properties of a Community-Driven Youth Survey for a County-Wide Health and Wellness Initiative (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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Examining the Psychometric Properties of a Community-Driven Youth Survey for a County-Wide Health and Wellness Initiative

Friday, January 13, 2023
Hospitality 3 - Room 432, 4th Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Henry Joel Crumé, MSW, PhD Candidate, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Tiffany Jones, PhD MSW MFT, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Charles Lea, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Angela Malorni, PhD, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Michael Spencer, PhD, Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background and Purpose: Community-based youth development programs (CBYDP) are known to improve the health and well-being of young people (Catalano et al., 2004; Durlak et al., 2007). While many measurement tools exist to assess these programs and their effect on young people, measures that meaningfully assesses for outcomes relevant to racially, ethnically, and gender diverse young people participating in CBYDP are limited (Lerner et al., 2021). Guided by Critical Race Theory and community-based participatory research (CBPR), this paper examines changes in the psychometric properties of a community-driven youth survey for a county-wide health and wellness initiative across two pilot tests.

Methods: The youth survey includes three community-driven construct areas: 1) Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Identity, 2) Social-Emotional Development, and 3) Program Environments. In Phase 1, the survey was developed through interviews with adult leaders of CBYDP and focus groups and cognitive interviews with racially, ethnically and gender diverse youth program participants. Following Phase 1 pilot testing (N=320), a Youth Measurement Tool Committee (YMTC) that included university researchers, county staff, and youth and adults in CBYDP part of the initiative was created to refine the survey. Following this process, a second pilot test (N=533) was conducted. Data from both pilot tests were analyzed using psychometric testing that examined the distributions of items, reliability, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and measurement invariance testing.

Results: Changes in the psychometric properties of the youth survey from Phase 1 to Phase 2 two showed improved measurement fit (CFIs > .92), increased survey invariance across diverse groups, and improved internal consistency (e.g., change in the reliability of the racial identity construct in Phase 1 from α = .71 to α = .85 in Phase 2).

Conclusions and Implications: Using critical race theory and CBPR in measurement development is important to building surveys that are relevant to the intersectional needs of racial and ethnic youth participating in CBYDP. Strategies to promote inclusive community-based measurement practices that center racial equity and support diverse populations are discussed.