Journal of Happiness Studies

, 10:459

The Construct Validity of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale: Multisample and Longitudinal Evidence


    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Jyväskylä
  • Saija Mauno
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Jyväskylä
  • Taru Feldt
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Jyväskylä
  • Jari Hakanen
    • Department of PsychologyFinnish Institute of Occupational Health
  • Ulla Kinnunen
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Tampere
  • Asko Tolvanen
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Jyväskylä
  • Wilmar Schaufeli
    • Department of PsychologyUtrecht University

DOI: 10.1007/s10902-008-9100-y

Cite this article as:
Seppälä, P., Mauno, S., Feldt, T. et al. J Happiness Stud (2009) 10: 459. doi:10.1007/s10902-008-9100-y


This study investigated the factor structure and factorial group and time invariance of the 17-item and 9-item versions of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES; Schaufeli et al. (2002b) Journal of Happiness Studies 3:71–92). Furthermore, the study explored the rank-order stability of work engagement. The data were drawn from five different studies (N = 9,404), including a three-year longitudinal study (n = 2,555), utilizing five divergent occupational samples. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the hypothesized correlated three-factor structure—vigor, dedication, absorption—of both UWES scales. However, while the structure of the UWES-17 did not remain the same across the samples and time, the structure of the UWES-9 remained relatively unchanged. Thus, the UWES-9 has good construct validity and use of the 9-item version can be recommended in future research. Moreover, as hypothesized, Structural Equation Modeling showed high rank-order stabilities for the work engagement factors (between 0.82 and 0.86). Accordingly, work engagement seems to be a highly stable indicator of occupational well-being.


Work engagementUtrecht Work Engagement ScaleConstruct validityFactor structureFactorial group and time invarianceRank-order stability

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008