In order to examine the applicability to Mexico of the U.S. Department of Education's three-domain conceptualization of school climate that includes engagement, safety, and the school environment, the current study tested its measurement invariance across middle school students in the United States (n = 15,099) and Mexico (n = 2,211).
School climate is an important construct for guiding violence prevention efforts in U.S. schools, but there has been less consideration of this concept in its neighboring country Mexico, which has a higher prevalence of violence. Findings of the current study supported full invariance for engagement and modified-safety scales that indicated factor loadings and intercepts contributed almost equally to factor means, and scale scores were comparable across groups. Partial invariance was found for the environment scales. Results of a multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (MGCFA) consisting of all 13 school climate scales indicated significantly positive associations among all scales in the U.S. sample and among most scales in the Mexico sample. Implications of these findings are discussed. (publisher abstract modified)