Adapting and validating the Strengths Use and Deficit Improvement Questionnaire for educators in Gauteng
Education is essential in providing future human capital that is much needed to build a sustainable, competitive economy. However, the importance of a quality education is often underestimated. In order to enhance working conditions of educators, it seems essential to investigate the role of the positive psychology paradigm by means of developing teachers’ areas of deficiencies and capitalising on their strengths in order for them to reach their full potential and flourish. The current study aimed to adapt and validate the recently developed Strengths Use and Deficit Improvement Questionnaire (SUDIQ) in an attempt to make it suitable for educators. The general objective of this research study was to establish the psychometric properties of the SUDIQ by means of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), convergent, discriminant and empirical validity. A cross-sectional field survey design and a convenience sample of educators from several educational institutions in the Gauteng Province (N = 502) was utilised to gather the data. CFA was used to test the factorial validity of the adapted SUDIQ scale. In order to prove convergent and discriminant validity, the relationships between the SUDIQ dimensions and similar theoretical constructs (job resources, strengths use, psychological capital, proactive behaviour and person-job fit) as well as constructs postulated to be unrelated to the SUDIQ dimensions (age and education) were determined. Finally, the relationship between the SUDIQ dimensions with vigour, dedication, emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation was determined by using multiple regression analysis. The results confirmed that the SUDIQ comprised a four-factor structure. These four factors were perceived organisational support for strengths use, perceived organisational support for deficit improvement, proactive behaviour towards strengths use and proactive behaviour towards deficits improvement. These dimensions were positively related to the scales such as the strengths use scale, autonomy, supervisor and colleague support, psychological capital, proactive behaviour, and person-job fit. Anticipated perceived organisational support for deficit improvement and proactive behaviour towards strengths use and proactive behaviour towards deficit improvement were unrelated to age. The scales were also relatively weakly related to education. Furthermore, the results revealed that perceived organisational support for strengths use, proactive behaviour towards strengths use and proactive behaviour towards deficit improvement were significant predictors of both vigour and dedication. However, it was found that the only SUDIQ dimension that predicted emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation was proactive behaviour toward strengths use. Recommendations were made to be applied in practice, as well as for future research.