### INTRODUCTION

*a priori*alternative GHQ-12 models described in the literature and identify the one with the best fit indices. Secondly, to examine the criterion validity and internal reliability of the selected model, and thirdly, to examine its measurement invariance (MI) across the genders. The fulfillment of MI is a prerequisite that needs to be established before the comparison of psychological distress can be made between the genders using the latent factors of the selected model [19].

### METHODS

### Participants

### General Health Questionnaire-12

### The description of the 21 *a priori* alternative GHQ-12 models

### Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale

### Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale

### Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised

### Procedure

### Data analyses

*a priori*alternative models of the GHQ-12 was evaluated through CFA with the 20th version of the SPSS Analysis of Moment Structure (AMOS) software, utilizing the covariance matrix input method of the Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) technique. These models were assessed with many indices; comparative fit index (CFI) [36], the root mean square of error approximation (RMSEA) [37], and the standardized root mean square residual (SRMR). We didn’t focus on the significance of the ratio of the chi-square (χ

^{2}) and its related degree of freedom (χ

^{2}/df), due to its tendency to unjustifiably indicate model rejection as a result of its sensitivity to sample size [38,39]. Acceptable data fit to model is indicated by CFI>0.90, SRMR<0.10, and RMSEA<0.08 [40]. Although, more stringent cutoff values (CFI>0.95, SRMR<0.08, and RMSEA<0.06) have also been proposed [41]. All further analyses were conducted with the model with the best fit indices. The criterion validity of the selected model and its underlying dimensions were examined with correlational analyses with the other study measures. The internal reliability of the selected model and its subscales was evaluated with the MacDonald’s omega coefficient (ω), which tends to yield a more accurate reliability coefficient for a multidimensional scale compared to the Cronbach’s alpha [42,43]. The ω coefficients were calculated using the R psych statistical package.

### RESULTS

### Confirmatory factor analysis of the 21 *a priori* alternative GHQ-12 models

### Correlational analyses (criterion validity) between GHQ-12 and other study measures

### Gender measurement invariance of the selected 3-factor GHQ-12 model

### DISCUSSION

*a priori*alternative models of the GHQ-12 described in literature best measures the construct of psychological distress in a non-clinical sample of Nigerian adolescents. The other objectives were to assess the internal consistency and criterion validity of the selected model, and examine if this model will be invariant for both the male and female adolescents. To the knowledge of the authors, this is the only study in Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation globally [50], that have attempted to examine among adolescents, the dimensionality of the GHQ-12 applying CFA, in addition to its psychometric properties and gender invariance.