This study examined the reliability, factorial validity, and measurement equivalence of the Noctcaelador Inventory (NI) among three ethnic groups of college students. Participants included 200 Whites, 200 African Americans, and 200 Latino/Hispanics. The results indicated that although the African American sample scored slightly lower than the White and Hispanic samples, the internal consistencies were identical for all three samples. Factor structures were consistently unidimensional and accounted for a similar percentage of variance for all groups as well. It was concluded that the NI is suitably valid, reliable, and equivalent for White, African American, and Latino/Hispanic college students.
A recent survey found that 17.8% of college students endorsed viewing the night-sky at least once a night (Kelly, Kelly, & Batey, 2006). Research has also found that students with an interest in night-sky watching were apt to make certain life-decisions and allocate their time and energy to increase opportunities to view the night-sky (Kelly, 2004a; Kelly et al., 2006). Given that a substantial number of students obviously place some importance on night-sky watching, it might be beneficial for educational researchers to better understand individual differences of this segment of the student population.
Noctcaelador and its Measurement
Factor analytic studies have found that a single factor, or construct, accounted for the majority of the variance in students' night-sky watching attitudes, interests, and self-reported behaviors (Kelly, 2003, 2006a; Kelly & Kelly, 2003). Using Latin word parts, Kelly (2003) termed this construct noctcaelador, tentatively defined as an "emotional attachment to, or adoration of, the night-sky" (p. 196).
The primary instrument used to measure noctcaelador has been the Noctcaelador Inventory (NI; Kelly, 2004a). The NI appears to tap several aspects of night-sky related psychological phenomena, such as behavior, attitudes, attachment, and coping (Kelly, 2006a; Kelly & Daughtry, 2007). Previous studies examining noctcaelador have found the NI to correlate with two primary clusters of variables in student samples: 1) a curious, rational cognitive style (i.e., Kelly, 2004b, 2005a, 2005b) and 2) openness to unusual, novel experiences and thought processes (Kelly & Daughtry, 2005; Kelly, 2006b, 2007).
Assessment and Ethnodiversity
An important element of understanding a construct is its measurement (Anastasi & Urbina, 1997). In a multicultural environment it is especially important to ensure that measurement devices be reliable, valid, and demonstrate measurement equivalence across diverse ethnic groups (American Psychological Association, 2002). Despite the need for culturally equivalent measures, several instruments have been developed using relatively homogeneous samples (i.e., a measure of forgiveness by McCullough et al., 1998), or with no indication of the ethnic makeup of the samples (i.e., the Perceived Stress Scale by Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983; the Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale by Thorson & Powell, 1993).
The NI is another such instrument. The ethnic distribution of the sample was not reported in the article that described the development of the measure (Kelly, 2004a). An examination of the original data, however, revealed that 80% (119) of the 150 participant sample used to develop the NI was White, 17% (25) were African American, and less than 1% (1) Hispanic. These are three of the largest, current and projected for the next 50 years, ethnic groups in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). However, they are not well represented in the sample used to develop the NI.
The Current Study
As previously noted, when using an assessment instrument with diverse populations, it is important to ensure that the measure is equally valid for different ethnic groups. …