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Addict Behav. 2010 Jan;35(1):23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.08.003. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

Examining factorial structure and measurement invariance of the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI)-18 among drug users.

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  • 1Children Research Institute, Center for Clinic and Community Research, Children's National Medical Center, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC 20010, USA. jiwang@gwu.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the factorial structure of the Brief Symptom Inventory 18 (BSI-18) and test its measurement invariance among different drug using populations. A total sample of 710 drug users was recruited using respondent-drive sampling (RDS) from three states: Ohio (n=248), Arkansas (n=237), and Kentucky (n=225). The results of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) show: 1) the BSI-18 has a three-factor structure (somatization, depression, and anxiety) with an underlying second-order factor (global severity index of distress); and 2) its factorial structure and metric (factor loadings) are invariant across populations under study. However, the scalars (intercepts) of the BSI-18 items are not invariant, and the means of the latent factors also varied across populations. Our findings provide evidence of a valid factorial structure of the BSI-18 that can be readily applied to studying drug using populations.

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