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Validity and Reliability of Well-being Scales: A Study on Egyptian Physically Active Senior-Aged Adults.

Dr. Marei Salama-Younes, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt (pictured left); Walid A. Massoud, National Center for Examinations and Educational Evaluation (NCEEE), Cairo, Egypt

Corresponding author: Dr. Marei Salama-Younes: Psychology, Sociology and Evaluation in Sport field Dept., Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt: Email: msalamayounes@hotmail.fr

This study tests the structural, convergent validity and reliability of five scales as measures of positive psychology with Egyptian athletes.

Positive psychology is not well known in the different countries. Valid and reliable positive psychological scales are rarely used in both African and Asian Arab countries. More precisely, there are probably some translated scales, but there are a few scales measuring many aspects of well-being, with Egyptian physically active senior-aged adults. Therefore, our main purpose of this study was to test the validity and reliability of a number of positive psychological scales on this population. For that purpose, two studies were conducted. The first one aimed to test the structure validity and reliability and the second aimed to test the relationships between the different psychological construct.


Participants and Procedure

An Arabic version of five well-being scales was created using forward and backwardtranslation by four bilingual individuals. According to Hess, Sénécal, and Vallerand (2000), an independent expert should revise the created Arabic versions. In the present research, we used the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), theSubjective Happiness Scale (SHS), the Subjective Vitality Scale (SVS), the Psychological Flourishing Scale (PFS) and the Mental Health Continuum–Short Form (MHC–SF).  All of them useda 7-point Likert scale ranging from “strongly disagree” (1) to “strongly agree” (7).

The participants of the study were Egyptian senior-aged adults (n= 333). They were from Cairo and Giza cities, and ranged in age from 55 to 64 years (M= 58, 97; SD= 3, 82). They practiced regularly for more than 10 years such sports activities as walking, jogging, brisk jogging and running. They completed the well-being scales immediately at the beginning of their sport practice. Participants were informed about the objective of the study and that their participation was voluntary and they could withdraw at any time. Both oral and written instructions were given regarding items understanding, (i.e., that there were no right or wrong answers to the questions and they should freely state what they think). They were reassured about the confidentiality of their responses. SPSS 21.00 was used to determine the Cronbach alpha aof internal consistency.  LISREL 8.7 was used for testing the confirmatory factor analyses (CFA).


The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) is a 5 item measure of life satisfaction, developed byDiener, Emmons, Larsen, and Griffin (1985).

The Subjective Happiness Scale (SHSis a 4-item scale used for measuring global subjective happiness(Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999).

The Subjective Vitality Scale (SVSis a short instrument to measure vitality that refers to the state of feeling alive and alert to having energy available to the self (Ryan & Frederick, 1997). In this study, we used the short version that consists of 6 items to evaluate the individual difference level.

The Flourishing Scale (FS)(Diener et al., 2010)provides a single psychological well-being score. It is a brief 8-item summary measure of the respondent’s self-perceived success in important areas such as relationships, self-esteem, purpose, and optimism.

The Mental Health Continuum–Short Form (MHC–SF) (Keyes, 2005)consists of 14 items. Items 1–3 measure the degree of (1) emotional well–being (EWB) (as defined in terms of positive affect/satisfaction with life., Items 4–8 measure (2) social well–being (SWB) as described in Keyes’ (1998)  model of social well–being (one item on each of the facets of social acceptance, social actualization, social contribution, social coherence and social integration). Items 9–14 measure (3) psychological well–being (PWB) () as described in Ryff’s(1989)model (including one item on each of the dimensions of autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others, purpose in life and self–acceptance).


The internal consistency of the scores reliability was assessed by calculating Cronbach’s acoefficient. The values of 0.70 or greater were considered satisfactory. In present research, reliability is satisfactory for the five scales. We performed confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) to assess the five instruments’ structure. The intention was to indicate if the model fits the data. There are varying suggestions in the literature about the number, type and cut-off values for goodness-of-fit required to be reported for CFAs (Byrne, 1998). A popular recommendation is to present three of four indices from different areas. Accordingly, we report several goodness-of-fit indicators. Findings show that the goodness of fit indexes for the five scales were acceptable in terms of χ2/df ratio, GFI, RMR and RMSEA (Table1). Finally, the correlations among the total score of the five instruments were positive and significant (p< .01) ranging between 0.32 and 0.53.

Table 1. Goodness-of-fit of the confirmatory factor analysis models (N = 333)

Scales χ2 df GFI NFI RMR RMSEA χ2 / df Alpha
SWLS 11.01 5 0.98 0.96 0.03 0.04 2.20** 0.86
SHS 4.96 4 0.96 0.95 0.02 0.03 1.24** 0.77
SVS 14.31 6 0.92 0.93 0.05 0.07 2.34** 0.78
PFS 0.00 0.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 0.00 0.00 0.88
MHC-SF (1 factor)  555.95 77 0.81 0.85 0.11 0.12 7.22* 0.73
MHC-SF (2 factor)  308.41 76 0.90 0.89 0.07 0.08 4.06** 0.73
MHC-SF (3 factor)  259.87 74 0.94 0.94 0.05 0.06 3.51** 0.73

Note: GFI = Goodness of Fit Index, NFI = Normed Fit Index, RMR = Root Mean Square Residual, RMSEA = Root Mean Square Error of Approximation. * p< .01; ** p< .001.

 Discussion and Conclusions

For the five scales, the internal consistency was acceptable and the factor structure was confirmed for the Arabic samples. Finally, the correlations among the total score of the five instruments were positive and significant (p< .01). The scales assessed many aspects of well-being and it was expected to be positively correlated. This study represents the early steps in a project aimed at evaluating and promoting positive development and resiliency.  The next step is to test which socio-demographical factor could best predict the well-being for both groups.


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