ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): 181-189.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00181

• Research Method • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Alignment: A new method for multiple-group analysis

WEN Congcong1(), WU Weiping1, LIN Guangjie2   

  1. 1 Overseas Education College/International College, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
    2 School of Journalism and Communication, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
  • Received:2018-03-08 Online:2019-01-15 Published:2018-11-23


Comparing the latent factor means across groups need to test the comparability of the instrument. Researchers usually test the scalar invariance to achieve this goal but often get unsatisfactory results. The alignment is proposed under this background. It allows the comparison of the latent factor means by testing the approximate invariance of the configural model parameters and has become a significant complement to multiple-group CFA. This article gives a detailed description of the multiple-group CFA and alignment, summarizes the research procedures and points to which researchers need to pay attention when applying alignment, uses an undergraduates’ work value data to illustrate how to use alignment to do a research with Mplus. In the end, this article summarizes the advantages and limitations of alignment and reviews its research developments and empirical applications.

Key words: multiple-group analysis, multiple-group CFA, measurement invariance, alignment, Monte Carlo simulation study

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