TPC Journal-Vol 11-Issue-3 - FULL ISSUE

The Professional Counselor | Volume 11, Issue 3 279 Our next step was to compute a CFA by administering the MDRS to a second sample of undergraduate college students to confirm the two-dimensional factor solution that emerged in the EFA. The sample size (N = 247) was sufficient for CFA (STV > 10:1 and > 200 participants). The MDRS items were entered into a CFA and the following GOF indices emerged: CMIN = χ2 (34) = 61.34, p = .003, CMIN/DF = 1.80, CFI = .96, IFI = .96, RMSEA = .06, 90% CI [0.03, 0.08], and SRMR = .04. A comparison between our GOF indices from the 2020 study with the thresholds for evaluating model fit in Table 1 reveal an acceptable-to-strong fit between the MDRS model and the data. Collectively, our 2020 procedures for EFA and CFA were consistent with the recommendations in this manuscript. Implications for the Profession Implications for Counseling Practitioners Assessment literacy is a vital component of professional counseling practice, as counselors who practice in a variety of specialty areas select and administer tests to clients and use the results to inform diagnosis and treatment planning (C.-C. Chen et al., 2020; Mvududu & Sink, 2013; NBCC, 2016; Neukrug & Fawcett, 2015). It is important to note that test results alone should not be used to make diagnoses, as tests are not inherently valid (Kalkbrenner, 2021b). In fact, the authors of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders stated that “scores from standardized measures and interview sources must be interpreted using clinical judgment” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 37). Professional counselors can use test results to inform their diagnoses; however, diagnostic decision making should ultimately come down to a counselor’s clinical judgment. Counseling practitioners can refer to this manuscript as a reference for evaluating the internal structure validity of scores on a test to help determine the extent to which, if any at all, the test in question is appropriate for use with clients. When evaluating the rigor of an EFA for example, professional counselors can refer to this manuscript to evaluate the extent to which test developers followed the appropriate procedures (e.g., preliminary assumption checking, factor extraction, retention, and rotation [see Figure 2]). Professional counselors are encouraged to pay particular attention to the factor extraction method that the test developers employed, as PCA is sometimes used in lieu of more appropriate methods (e.g., PAF/ML). Relatedly, professional counselors should be vigilant when evaluating the factor rotation method employed by test developers because oblique rotation methods are typically more appropriate than orthogonal (e.g., varimax) for counseling tests. CFA is one of the most commonly used tests of the internal structure validity of scores on psychological assessments (Kalkbrenner, 2021b). Professional counselors can compare the CFA fit indices in a test manual or journal article to the benchmarks in Table 1 and come to their own conclusion about the internal structure validity of scores on a test before using it with clients. Relatedly, the layperson’s definitions of common psychometric terms in Figure 1 might have utility for increasing professional counselors’ assessment literacy by helping them decipher some of the psychometric jargon that commonly appears in psychometric studies and test manuals. Implications for Counselor Education Assessment literacy begins in one’s counselor education program and it is imperative that counselor educators teach their students to be proficient in recognizing and evaluating internal structure validity evidence of test scores. Teaching internal structure validity evidence can be an especially challenging pursuit because counseling students tend to fear learning about psychometrics and statistics (Castillo, 2020; Steele & Rawls, 2015), which can contribute to their reticence and uncertainty when encountering