Testing Factorial Invariance in Multilevel Data: A Monte Carlo Study Academic Article uri icon


  • Testing factorial invariance has recently gained more attention in different social science disciplines. Nevertheless, when examining factorial invariance, it is generally assumed that the observations are independent of each other, which might not be always true. In this study, we examined the impact of testing factorial invariance in multilevel data, especially when the dependency issue is not taken into account. We considered a set of design factors, including number of clusters, cluster size, and intraclass correlation (ICC) at different levels. The simulation results showed that the test of factorial invariance became more liberal (or had inflated Type I error rate) in terms of rejecting the null hypothesis of invariance held between groups when the dependency was not considered in the analysis. Additionally, the magnitude of the inflation in the Type I error rate was a function of both ICC and cluster size. Implications of the findings and limitations are discussed. 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, E. S., Kwok, O., & Yoon, M.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Kim, Eun Sook||Kwok, Oi-man||Yoon, Myeongsun

publication date

  • January 2012