Metric equivalence is a quantitative way to assess cross-cultural equivalences of translated instruments by examining the patterns of psychometric properties based on cross-cultural data derived from both versions of the instrument. Metric equivalence checks at item and instrument levels can be used as a valuable tool to refine cross-cultural instruments. Korean and English versions of the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) were administered to 154 Korean Americans and 151 Anglo Americans to illustrate approaches to assessing their metric equivalence. Inter-item and item-total correlations, Cronbach's alpha coefficients, and factor analysis were used for metric equivalence checks. The alpha coefficient for the Korean-American sample was 0.85 and 0.92 for the Anglo American sample. Although all items of the CES-D surpassed the desirable minimum of 0.30 in the Anglo American sample, four items did not meet the standard in the Korean American sample. Differences in average inter-item correlations were also noted between the two groups (0.25 for Korean Americans and 0.37 for Anglo Americans). Factor analysis identified two factors for both groups, and factor loadings showed similar patterns and congruence coefficients. Results of the item analysis procedures suggest the possibility of bias in certain items that may influence the sensitivity of the Korean version of the CES-D. These item biases also provide a possible explanation for the alpha differences. Although factor loadings showed similar patterns for the Korean and English versions of the CES-D, factorial similarity alone is not sufficient for testing the universality of the structure underlying an instrument.
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