Does School Climate Mean the Same Thing in the United States as in Mexico? A Focus on Measurement Invariance

Kathan D. Shukla, Tracy E. Waasdorp, Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, Mercedes Gabriela Orozco Solis, Amanda J. Nguyen, Cecilia Colunga Rodríguez, Catherine P. Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


School climate is an important construct for guiding violence prevention efforts in U.S. schools, but there has been less consideration of this concept in its neighboring country Mexico, which has a higher prevalence of violence. The U.S. Department of Education outlined a three-domain conceptualization of school climate (i.e., safe and supportive schools model) that includes engagement, safety, and the school environment. To examine the applicability of this school climate model in Mexico, the present study tested its measurement invariance across middle school students in the United States (n = 15,099) and Mexico (n = 2,211). Findings supported full invariance for engagement and modified-safety scales indicating that factor loadings and intercepts contributed almost equally to factor means, and scale scores were comparable across groups. Partial invariance was found for the environment scales. Results of a multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (MGCFA) consisting of all 13 school climate scales indicated significantly positive associations among all scales in the U.S. sample and among most scales in the Mexico sample. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-68
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Mexico
  • international comparison
  • measurement invariance
  • school climate
  • violence prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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