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J Anxiety Disord. 2010 Oct;24(7):723-8. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.05.004. Epub 2010 May 24.

Factor structure and measurement invariance of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale across four racial/ethnic groups.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Houston, TX 77204-5022, USA.


The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) is the most commonly used instrument for assessing OCD in clinical trials, but little information is available regarding its appropriateness with patients of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. We examined the factor structure and measurement invariance of this widely used measure, across individuals from four racial and ethnic groups utilizing both university and outpatient samples. Results indicated that a two-factor (Obsessions and Compulsions) model fit the undergraduate and outpatient samples and was structurally invariant across racial/ethnic groups. Minimal evidence of non-invariance was observed across racial/ethnic groups, with the exception that items on the Obsessions subscale may, at lower levels, under-estimate obsessive concerns among Black individuals. Overall, the Y-BOCS appears to show invariance across people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, although caution should be taken in comparing scores obtained from Black patients to current norms given evidence of substantial non-invariance on the Obsessions scale.

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