Factor Structure and Differential Item Functioning of the BASC-2 BESS Spanish Language Parent Form

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Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Child, Family, and School Psychology


Measurement equivalence, Linguistic diversity, Assessment among diverse populations, Universal screening


Given the steady increase of students from diverse backgrounds in the U.S. educational system, in particular immigrant and Latino students, it is important to consider how to best support all students within our schools. The present study focuses on the Behavior Assessment System for Children-Second Edition (BASC-2) Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) Parent Spanish form, which is a promising assessment tool for those who are interested in screening for behavioral and emotional risk among Spanish-speaking populations. The present study included 725 students of Latino descent in Grades K-6 in an urban school district and their parents or legal guardians, who served as the informants. All parents completed the BESS language form (English or Spanish) of their choice. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) supported a 4-factor structure (Externalizing, Internalizing, Inattention, and Adaptive Skills) similar to that of the BESS Parent English form: χ2(77) = 248.06, p < .001; CFI = 0.903; TLI = 0.940. However, differential item functioning (DIF) analyses revealed 5 items (16.7%) demonstrated significant levels of DIF, with 4 of the 5 being easier to endorse in English. This study provides preliminary evidence of partial invariance of the BESS Parent across language forms. Although some evidence of invariance across language forms at the structural and item levels exists, more research is necessary to determine whether the DIF found in the present study results in any perceptible test bias.

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