Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Validation of the Psychological Well-Being Scale for Use in Taiwan

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Validation of the Psychological Well-Being Scale for Use in Taiwan

Article excerpt

In past decades, psychological issues related to negative experiences (e.g., anxiety, depression, and trauma) have received a great deal of research attention (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). However, if it is accepted comprehensive health ought to include physical, mental, and social well-being, then the promotion of well-being is imperative (Kirkwood, Bond, May, McKeith, & Teh, 2010). Thus, a recent increase of interest in the investigation of well-being has been witnessed (Huppert, 2009; Ryff & Singer, 2006), targeted at the identification of its constituents and mapping of its characteristics, causes, and consequences (Huppert, Keverne, & Bayliss, 2004; Ryff, 2014). In addition to the well-known concept of subjective well-being (Ryan & Deci, 2001), Ryff (1989) has presented another form of well-being, namely, psychological well-being (PWB), which is based on humanistic theories, such as those developed by Erikson (1959), Maslow (1968), and Rogers (1961). PWB represents a life lived to the fullest, during which individuals make the most of their potential, and is characterized as involving autonomy, positive relationships with others, self-acceptance, a sense of purpose in life, personal growth, and environmental mastery (Ryff, 1989; Ryff & Keyes, 1995). Accordingly, Ryff (1989) developed a self-report instrument that she named the Scales of Psychological Well-Being (SPWB), consisting of the abovementioned six core domains of positive human health, with each assessed using a set of 20 questions. Later, Ryff revised the longer version to a series of different shorter forms (84, 54, or 21 items), but these shorter forms did not show the original psychometric properties and both Western and non-Western (e.g., Asian) participants felt burdened while answering (Diener et al., 2009; Ryff, 2014). Thus, Diener et al. developed a new eight-item measure of PWB named the Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWBS), to create an overview of, and broadly measure, multiple aspects of PWB, including several features of well-being that are not included in Ryff's scale. The PWBS has shown good psychometric properties and construct validity, but further validation work is needed because exploratory factor analyses (EFA) conducted have been exploratory- rather than confirmatory-oriented. Moreover, validation has not yet been conducted in Asian countries (Diener et al., 2010). With this in mind, I had the English version of the PWBS translated into Chinese and then evaluated its psychometric properties for use with Chinese populations.

Is Psychological Well-Being the Same in Different Cultures?

I believe that the meaning of, and factors that comprise, PWB are worth considering in cross-cultural studies (Diener et al., 2009, 2010; Ryan & Deci, 2001). The definition of well-being is dependent on the cultural context and, further, there can be no such thing as a value-free assessment of well-being (Christopher, 1999). Scholars have often lacked answers to criticisms of cultural bias arising from questions about both the constructs used to measure and the equivalence of well-being across different cultures. Although such concerns may continue, some strategies have emerged that permit statistical assessments of the cultural equivalence of psychological constructs. One is structural equation modeling (SEM), which is used to assess the degree to which the psychometric properties of a construct can be modeled comparably across diverse populations (Little, 1997). Accordingly, if the international community can understand the cross-cultural effects associated with PWB, a more complete picture of PWB can be obtained, as most published studies are based on Western samples (e.g., Diener et al., 2009, 2010).

The Current Study

My aim was to investigate the validity of the PWBS in a Chinese cultural context. First, the factor structure of the PWBS was examined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Second, for scale validation purposes, correlation analyses were conducted to examine whether or not the PWBS was related to life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect, self-esteem, and depression. …

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