**Factor Analysis and Assessment**

In testing, factor
analysis is a mathematical strategy to analyze groups of items within a large
test to see how well they relate to each other. The goal will be to reduce the
large number of items to a set of factors that appear to measure different but
related constructs; hence, factor analysis is a method of data reduction.
(Sutton, 2020)

A large test of various abilities may be analyzed for ways to group different abilities. Short tests of vocabulary, verbal analogies, and synonyms might form a factor that a researcher could label as "Verbal Abilities."

A
**factor **is a group of **variables **that are highly correlated with each other and,
although different, they appear to have something in common. Researchers choose
names for groups of variables based on the content of the variables in the
factor. In large research projects, each participant may have scores on a large
number of variables. Factor analysis can be used to identify patterns among the
variables. Thus, it may be possible to reduce 30 variables to 5 or 6 groups of variables
(that is factors).

A research database may contain several variables considered relevant to understanding the risk of child sexual abuse. Such variables may include prior abuse by a person in a close relationship to the child, age of a child, family problems, child problems, family structure, parenting difficulties, sex of the child, and so forth. Theoretically, researchers could look for patterns that may suggest ways to identify key risk factors. (Sutton, 2020)

**Exploratory
Factor Analysis (EFA)**

In
the early phases of creating a test or questionnaire, researchers use EFA to
explore or discover the structure of the measure. That is, they are looking for
the number of factors that best fit the set of data.

**Confirmatory
Factor Analysis (CFA)**

**ink to an Index of Statistical Concepts in Psychology, Counseling, and Education**

**Reference**

Sutton, G. W. (2020). *Applied statistics: Concepts for counselors, second edition*.
Springfield, MO: Sunflower.

**AMAZON** Paperback
ISBN-10: 168821772X, ISBN-13: 978-168217720

**More information: Book**** ****website: counselorstatistics**

**Reference
for using scales in research:**

*Buy Creating Surveys*** on**

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**Reference
for clinicians on understanding assessment**

**Buy Applied Statistics for Counselors**

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**Resource Link: A-Z Statistical Terms**

**Resource Link: ****A – Z Test Index**

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