Measurement Equivalence of Subjective Well-Being Scales under the Presence of Acquiescent Response Style for the Racially and Ethnically Diverse Older Population in the United States

  • Sunghee Lee Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
  • Elizabeth Vasquez Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany, State University of New York
  • Lindsay Ryan Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
  • Jacqui Smith Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
Keywords: Well-being, Measurement Equivalence, Measurement Invariance, Minority and Diverse Populations, Cross-cultural Differences

Abstract

Objectives. While valid assessment of subjective well-being (SWB) is at the forefront of ageing research, literature increasingly reports cross-cultural measurement invariance on scales designed to capture SWB. This study examines measurement properties of well-established SWB scales and their comparability between older Hispanics and Whites in the US. Methods. We examined measurement properties of the satisfaction with life (SWL), purpose in life (PIL)and positive affect (PAF) scales using multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and multigroup hierarchical CFA on three subgroups in the Health and Retirement Study: non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics interviewed in English and Hispanics interviewed in Spanish. We also examined acquiescence response style in measurement invariance testing. Results. SWL was the only scale that provided reasonable measurement invariance. However, it lacked comparability in its measurement validity, with much lower validity for Hispanics than Whites. Measurement invariance was observed lower across all models when fitted on the data restricted to respondents with a tendency to acquiesce than the counterpart. Discussion. Our analysis offers evidence that the traditional measurement invariance test is not effective under the presence of response style for measurement instruments that use the Likert-type response scales. Research into cross-cultural differences in conceptualization of SWB and methodology to measure SWB is likely to improve our ability to accurately understand SWB with the increasingly diverse population.
Published
2020-10-10
How to Cite
Lee, S., Vasquez, E., Ryan, L., & Smith, J. (2020). Measurement Equivalence of Subjective Well-Being Scales under the Presence of Acquiescent Response Style for the Racially and Ethnically Diverse Older Population in the United States. Survey Research Methods, 14(4), 417-437. https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2020.v14i4.7413