Burns, Richard A. and Machin, M. Anthony (2009) Investigating the structural validity of Ryff's psychological well-being scales across two samples. Social Indicators Research, 93 (2). pp. 359-375. ISSN 0303-8300
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11205-008-9329-1
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1007/s11205-008-9329-1
Ryff’s (1989b) Psychological Well-Being (PWB) scales measure six related constructs of human functioning. The present paper examined the validity of Ryff’s 6-factor PWB model, using data from a life events study (N = 401) and an organisational climate study (N = 679). Previous validation studies, using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), have identified alternative PWB models, but limitations include the use of shorter scale versions with items relating to a number of life domains within the same PWB factor, and failure to examine the influence of participants’ socio-demographic characteristics on PWB. In this study, Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) mostly found consistency in the PWB items and structure between the two studies whereby a 3- factor model delineated between items relating to Autonomy, Positive Relations and a super-ordinate factor comprising the other PWB factors. Using CFA, Goodness of Fit indices reached acceptable levels for the adjusted PWB model identified by the EFA, whilst differences between adjusted models of PWB previously identified in the literature were hardly evident. Post-hoc analysis by gender demonstrated socio-demographic effects on the structure and items that comprise PWB. Further development of PWB measures is needed to reflect its hierarchical and multi-dimensional nature. In the scales’ current form, the construct validation of the PWB factors will continue to be problematic and will fail to adequately evaluate the nature and impact of PWB.
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