Investigating the structural validity of Ryff's psychological well-being scales across two samples

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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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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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The original publication is available at
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2008 10:33
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: well-being; psychological well-being; subjective well-being; structural vailidity; validity; measurement
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220311 Philosophical Psychology (incl. Moral Psychology and Philosophy of Action)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s11205-008-9329-1

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