Background. Factor analysis has been employed to identify
latent variables that are unifying
constructs and that parsimoniously describe correlations among a
related group of variables.
Confirmatory factor analysis is used to test hypothesized factor
structures for a set of variables; it
can also, as in this paper be used to model data from two or more
groups simultaneously to
determine whether they have the same factor structure.
Method. Non-psychotic psychiatric morbidity, elicited by
the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule
(CIS-R), from four culturally diverse populations was compared.
Confirmatory factor analysis was
employed to compare the factor structures of CIS-R data sets from
Santiago, Harare, Rotherhithe
and Ealing. These structures were compared with hypothetical one
and two factor (depression–anxiety) models.
Results. The models fitted well with the different data
sets. The depression–anxiety model was
marginally superior to the one factor model as judged by various
statistical measures of fit. The two
factors in depression–anxiety model were, however,
Conclusions. The findings suggest that symptoms of
emotional distress seem to have the same factor
structure across cultures.