Review Article

Psychometric properties of the Flourishing Scale for South African first-year students

Karina Mostert, Leon T. de Beer, Ronalda de Beer
African Journal of Psychological Assessment | Vol 5 | a130 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajopa.v5i0.130 | © 2023 Karina Mostert, Leon T. de Beer, Ronalda de Beer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 November 2022 | Published: 24 March 2023

About the author(s)

Karina Mostert, Management Cybernetics Research Entity, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Leon T. de Beer, WorkWell Research Unit, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Ronalda de Beer, Management Cybernetics Research Entity, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

This study focused on a positive construct of well-being, namely flourishing. In a multicultural and diverse country such as South Africa, it is a legal requirement to provide evidence that measures of psychological constructs, like flourishing, are fair, unbiased, and equivalent for diverse groups in the country. The aim was to test the psychometric properties of the Flourishing Scale, a purpose-made scale that measures positive functioning across various areas of life. This study tested the factorial validity, item bias, measurement invariance and reliability of the Flourishing Scale in a sample of 1088 South African first-year university students. A unidimensional structure was confirmed. Although three items showed statistically significant uniform and total bias for language and campus groups, the magnitude and practical impact were negligible. No evidence of bias across gender groups was found. Configural, metric and partial scalar invariance were established for language and campus groups. Full measurement invariance was established across gender groups. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was 0.91, indicating high reliability. The study provided promising results for using the Flourishing Scale among South African university students to measure flourishing as an aspect of well-being.

Contribution: This study contributes to the field of student well-being in South Africa. No studies could be found that test for item bias or measurement invariance of the Flourishing Scale, specifically for South African first-year students. This study is the first to test these psychometric properties of a Flourishing Scale in a multicultural setting for students from different languages.


Keywords

flourishing; factorial validity; item bias; differential item functioning; measurement invariance; internal consistency; first-year students; university

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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