Racial/ethnic measurement invariance of the School Success Profile (SSP)'s future orientation scale

Yunyu Xiao, Natasha K. Bowen, Michael A. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Future orientation (FO) has received increasing attention for its positive effects on adolescent well-being and successful transition to adulthood. Although numerous measures of FO exist, most are not developmentally appropriate for diverse populations of adolescents, do not assess all theoretical components of FO, and/or were not developed for administration in schools. Additionally, the invariance of existing measures across racial/ethnic groups has not been examined using appropriately rigorous procedures. Using data from 2575 students in grades 6–9, this study examined the psychometric quality and measurement invariance of the FO scale on the School Success Profile (SSP) across African American (34.8%), Latino (27.0%), and European American (38.1%) subsamples. A one-factor model fit the data well in all three groups. Analyses identified only a small number of noninvariant parameters, supporting the conclusion that the scale has partial measurement invariance across the three groups. On average, African Americans had significantly higher levels of FO than the other two groups; mean scores for Latinos and European Americans were lower and statistically equivalent to each other. Construct validity of the SSP FO scale was also supported by findings of medium-sized relationships of FO scores to scores on five other constructs: low grades, school engagement, parent educational support, psychological distress, and school behavior. Multiple group tests of the magnitude and direction of the validity relationships indicated statistical equivalence across the three groups. Results support the use of the SSP FO scale by school psychologists to assess FO and to evaluate the effects of interventions targeting FO as a promoter of well-being and school success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-107
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of School Psychology
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Cross-cultural comparison
  • Future orientation
  • Measurement invariance
  • Positive youth development
  • Psychometric validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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