Original Research

Measuring social well-being in Africa: An exploratory structural equation modelling study

Itumeleng P. Khumalo, Ufuoma P. Ejoke, Kwaku Oppong Asante, Janvier Rugira
African Journal of Psychological Assessment | Vol 3 | a37 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajopa.v3i0.37 | © 2021 Itumeleng P. Khumalo, Ufuoma P. Ejoke, Kwaku Oppong Asante, Janvier Rugira | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 October 2020 | Published: 28 June 2021

About the author(s)

Itumeleng P. Khumalo, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Ufuoma P. Ejoke, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Kwaku Oppong Asante, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa; and, Department of Psychology, University of Ghana, Accra, South Africa
Janvier Rugira, Psychosocial Wellbeing Section, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The study investigated the factor structure of the 15-item social well-being scale in an African context. Social well-being is categorised into five dimensions: social integration, social contribution, social coherence, social actualisation and social acceptance. Data were collected from 402 participants in South Africa (50% male, average age of 21 years). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory structural equation modelling (ESEM) were conducted in Mplus (version 8.1), on the 15-item measure. Results showed advantages of ESEM’s flexibility, through which an unstable emic four factor solution emerged. For such complex multidimensional psychological constructs measured in novel contexts, ESEM is best suited for exploring factorial validity. Although the present study’s findings should have implication for theory, future studies should further explore social well-being measurement using the long- and short-form instruments in diverse African samples.

Keywords

Africa; ESEM; factorial validity; measurement; social well-being

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