The Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS; G. B. Spanier, 1976) is the most widely used inventory of relationship satisfaction in the social sciences, yet the question of whether it is measuring the same concept in men and women has never been addressed. In the current study, the authors examined the factor structure of the DAS in a sample of 900 currently married couples who participated in the Minnesota Twin Family Study. Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to a second-order factor solution with Spanier's four factors (Dyadic Consensus, Dyadic Satisfaction, Dyadic Cohesion, Affectional Expression) loading on one higher order factor (Relationship Adjustment), to test for measurement invariance across gender. The second-order solution was relatively invariant across gender, even when taking into account the nonindependent nature of the data. This suggests that the best conceptualization of the DAS is one of a gender-invariant measure of marital adjustment with four distinct subfactors and that differences between men and women on any of these constructs can be interpreted by both clinicians and researchers as true mean differences rather than measurement bias.
- measurement invariance