The Mental Health Continuum-Short Form: measurement invariance in a South African context
Bothma, Elizabeth Maria
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This study explored the extent of measurement invariance present in four groups from a South African sample: age (n = 400), gender (n = 475), relationship status (n = 273), and religiosity (n = 360). A secondary data set was used for the analyses, originally compiled with the use of a cross-sectional quantitative survey design. Data applicable to this study were from the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF), and descriptive statistics were calculated with SPSS 24. Mplus 7.8 was used for confirmatory factor analyses and measurement invariance testing through latent variable modeling. The three-factor structure of the MHC-SF was confirmed separately for all the sub-groups, followed by the process of testing for measurement invariance, including the creation of configural models to be used for comparison, specifying metric models (and scalar models where applicable), as well as identifying problematic items. The results revealed that the age and gender groups achieved strong measurement invariance, while the relationship status group showed weak measurement invariance, and the religiosity group was too dissimilar for comparison. These results suggest that measurement invariance should be explored further with regards to culturally defined socio-demographic characteristics. The mini-dissertation concluded with a chapter which outlined the conclusions and limitations of the study, followed by recommendations for future research, and practical application of the findings.
- Health Sciences