Validation of a scale to measure psychosocial well-being in an African context
Van Rooy, Sinette Gertruida
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The aim of this study was to determine the psychometric properties of the Mental Health Continuum - Short Form (MHC-SF) (Keyes, 2006a) in an African context. This 14-item self-report questionnaire that measures mental health was developed in a Western individualistic context, which differs from the more collectivistic African cultural context in South Africa. The MHC-SF consists of three subscales, namely Emotional well-being, Social well-being and Psychological/personal well-being. Participants (N^IOSO) from urban (n=451) and rural (n=599) settlements completed the MHC-SF and other measures indicating positive and negative facets of psychosocial functioning in a one-shot cross-sectional survey design with the aid of 16 trained fieldworkers. Scales included to determine concurrent/criterion-related validity were the Affectometer 2 (short version) (AFM) (Kammann & Flett, 1983), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985), the Community Collective Efficacy Scale (revised) (CCES) (Carrol, Rosson & Zhou, 2005), the Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1993), the New General Self-Efficacy Scale (NGSE) (Chen, Gully & Eden, 2000), the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC-29) (Antonovsky, 1987,1993) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) (Goldberg & Hillier, 1979). Results indicated a Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient of 0,75 for the total MHC-SF and acceptable inter-item and item-total correlations for the items. Item 4 had an eta-squared value indicating a large effect size, and thus had a negative impact on reliability. Mean inter-item correlations ranged between 0,19 and 0,30 and item-total correlations between 0,13 and 0,51. Concurrent/criterion-related validity was satisfactory. Confirmatory factor analysis yielded three factors. A three-factor model, omitting item 4, had the best fit in structural equation modelling. Six percent of the participants were languishing, Psychosocial well-being in an African context 73%) were moderately mentally healthy and 21%> were flourishing. More participants from the urban settlement flourish than from the rural settlement. It was concluded that the MHC-SF is reliable and valid for further use in research in an African context.
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