As needs assessments are comprised of subscales that include non-observable, latent constructs, the comprehensive assessment of these items and scales is essential. Specifically, to ensure these tools are measuring offender needs as intended, their construct validity must be confirmed. The current project used a multi-level, multi-group analysis of the MPACT with a large, 10-state sample of youth. Building on previous work (see Mei et al., 2022), authors confirmed the dimensionality and reliability of the six MPACT needs domains. Beyond this, the reliability and validity of the ‘Global Needs Factor’ was also confirmed. Here, the ‘Global Needs Factor’ or ‘G-Factor’ represents a weighted combination of all domain scores, assessing youths’ overall needs. This is a substantial advantage for practitioners, seeking to more easily match youth to resources that are likely limited. In particular, agencies without access to criminal history records or non-justice agencies may make use of the MPACT needs tool for case management purposes. Overall, these findings represent a substantial step forward, identifying the MAPCT needs assessment as a reliable and valid tool, across justice stages and states. With this, we encourage contemporary RNA developers to similarly assess the construct validity of their assessments, ensuring safe and reliable application and program guidance.
Nebraska Center for Justice Research, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Krushas, Amber; Hamilton, Zachary; and Mei, X., "Assessing the Construct Validity of the MPACT-6: Research Brief" (2023). Reports. 81.