Confirmatory factor analysis of the Protective Behavioral Strategies Scale (PBSS) across racial groups

Sasha Joy Lambert

Abstract

Alcohol consumption among college students, and the negative alcohol-related consequences that accompany that consumption, have been consistent concerns for colleges and the general public for several decades. Protective behavioral strategies are emerging in the literature as a potentially effective means of reducing harm to students; however, psychometrically sound measures for protective behavioral strategies are only in a development stage at this point. One such measure, the Protective Behavioral Strategies Scale (PBSS), showed particular promise in this area, but previous research suffered from sample limitations, particularly very low sampling of students of color. In the current study, additional items were added to the PBSS in an attempt to improve subscale reliability, thus resulting in the PBSS-R. A confirmatory factor analysis of the measure revealed a 4-factor model best fit the data in this study. Further, the primary purpose of the current study was to test factorial validity with White, non-Hispanic and African American students. The measure was not found to be invariant across racial groups. Implications for use and directions for further research are discussed.