Development and validation of a multicultural consciousness instrument
Dean, Shannon Rae
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The United States and its institutions of higher education are becoming increasingly diverse. As a result, developing multiculturally competent citizens is at the forefront of the espoused mission of higher education (Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) 2012; Rogers, 2003). Institutions of higher education often highlight multicultural competence as a key component of their goals and mission statements, yet currently they lack the means to measure this concept (Smith, 2011). This deficiency is due in part to the complexity of measuring competency, and in part to the time, effort, and knowledge required to develop psychometrically sound instruments. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a self-report instrument to measure traditional-age (18-to 24-year-old) college students’ multicultural consciousness. As part of the instrument design, an extensive literature review was conducted to determine the constructs and items. Three constructs of multicultural consciousness were identified: an awareness of self, knowledge of difference, and interpersonal disposition. A panel of five experts in the area of multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion were consulted in evaluating both the constructs and items. Finally, a two-person cognitive interview and three individual cognitive interviews were conducted with traditional-age undergraduate students. Cognitive interviews focused on a) comprehension of the question (e.g., question intent, meaning of terms); (b) social desirability (i.e., Does the individual want to tell the truth?); and (c) response process (i.e., Is the answer the participant thinks of generated in the responses?) (Willis, 2005). Changes in wording or order of items were made to the instrument in response to the experts’ recommendations and the student interviews. The instrument was distributed to three institutions in the southeastern U.S. Responses were gathered from 517 participants. The instrument was tested using confirmatory factor analysis in the LISREL statistical software. A 45-item 3-factor model was confirmed as an adequate model fit for the data (TLI=.94, CFI=.94, and SRMSR=.073 and RMSEA=.084). Invariance testing was then conducted to determine the goodness of fit for various groups (i.e., varying by race, gender, and sexual orientation). The evidence generated by this study indicated that the instrument is an adequate measure of a student’s multicultural consciousness. Finally, recommendations for further testing, future research, and implications for practice are also included.