Measuring White Racial Identity: A Reply to Helms (1997)

Abstract

This article argues that J. T. Behrens’s (1997) analysis was appropriate and that the simple structure conclusion concerning the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (WRIAS) holds. First, the “possible failures” of the analyses were explicitly addressed in Behrens’s article and were not problematic. Second, the complex patterns expected from the WRIAS in light of the complex theory from which it was developed simply do not exist in the data. Furthermore, converging results from the use of classical measurement and latent trait analysis counter arguments concerning the weakness of the traditional approach. Third, the dismissal of the results as irrelevant to convergent and discriminant validity is rejected because the test consists of 5 scales whose interrelations are of primary interest. Implications for counseling research and practice are discussed.

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