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Psychol Rep. 2005 Aug;97(1):3-10.

Comparison of alternative estimation methods in confirmatory factor analyses of the General Health Questionnaire.

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Swinburne University of Technology, Melba Avenue, Lilydale, Victoria 3140, Australia.


This paper examines the implications of violating assumptions concerning the continuity and distributional properties of data in establishing measurement models in social science research. The General Health Questionnaire-12 uses an ordinal response scale. Responses to the GHQ-12 from 201 Hong Kong immigrants on arrival in Australia showed that the data were not normally distributed. A series of confirmatory factor analyses using either a Pearson product-moment or a polychoric correlation input matrix and employing either maximum likelihood, weighted least squares or diagonally weighted least squares estimation methods were conducted on the data. The parameter estimates and goodness-of-fit statistics provided support for using polychoric correlations and diagonally weighted least squares estimation when analyzing ordinal, nonnormal data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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