, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 361-372

Testing Factorial Validity and Gender Invariance of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale

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Recent research has indicated that the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) is a reliable measure that taps three dimensions of a singular construct. Gender differences have been found consistently in catastrophizing, with women reporting significantly higher scores than men on the PCS. This study was designed to cross-validate the factor structure of the PCS, independently for men and women, through second-order confirmatory factor analysis. Results indicate that the second-order models provide a good fit to the data. The conceptualization of catastrophizing as a singular latent construct, within a hierarchical factorial structure that consists of three first-order factors—rumination, magnification, and helplessness, was supported for both men and women. The second research objective was to test the two models for gender equivalence. Results indicate that all constraints held across gender. Together, these findings support the psychometric soundness of the PCS and indicate that the gender differences found are not due to an inadequate fit of the measurement or structural model.