Problematic factorial validity of three language versions of the Basic Psychological Needs Scale (BPNS): why and what are the implications?
Wissing, Marié P.
Ellis, Suria M.
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Self-determination theory is a macrotheory of human motivation that describes fundamental matters such as personality development, goals and aspirations, and self-regulation. Basic psychological needs theory, a subtheory of self-determination theory, postulates that the needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are universal and the satisfaction thereof essential for human functioning. Despite the theory’s strong universality claim, almost no studies tested the assumption on the African continent. The present study addressed this by exploring the factorial validity of English, Afrikaans, and Setswana versions of the Basic Psychological Needs Scale (N = 1056). After incorporating a negative-worded method effect and removing several problematic items, the fit of the intended three-factor model was good for the Afrikaans version, marginal for the English version, and poor for the Setswana version. The resulting factors’ reliabilities were low. Configural, metric, and partial scalar invariance were established between the English and Afrikaans versions. Although these findings primarily highlighted problems with the particular scale, there is also the possibility that it could have implications for the validity of the universality assumption of basic psychological needs theory and/or assumptions about denotations or manifestations of the main constructs in various cultural contexts. The study indicated the conceptual and linguistic complexities involved in assessment across diverse and multicultural contexts
- Faculty of Health Sciences