Assessing the hypothesis of measurement invariance in the context of large-scale international surveys
In the field of international educational surveys, equivalence of achievement scale scores across countries has received substantial attention in the academic literature; however, only a relatively recent emphasis on scale score equivalence in nonachievement education surveys has emerged. Given the current state of research in multiple-group models, findings regarding these recent measurement invariance investigations were supported with research that was limited in scope to few groups and relatively small sample sizes. To that end, this study uses data from one large-scale survey as a basis for examining the extent to which typical fit measures used in multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis are suitable for detecting measurement invariance in a large-scale survey context. Using measures validated in a smaller scale context and an empirically grounded simulation study, our findings indicate that many typical measures and associated criteria are either unsuitable in a large group and varied sample-size context or should be adjusted, particularly when the number of groups is large. We provide specific recommendations and discuss further areas for research.