, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 43-56

The Psychometric Equivalence of the Personal Wellbeing Index School-Children for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australian Adolescents

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Abstract

Despite increasing research interest in the subjective wellbeing (SWB) of Indigenous Australians, SWB measures used in these studies have not been validated for use in this population. Until the measurement equivalence of scales used in this population are demonstrated, inferences regarding potential differences in SWB across Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups cannot be validly inferred. To rectify this, the present study examines the psychometric equivalence of the Personal Wellbeing Index—School Children (PWI-SC) for use among samples of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian adolescents using multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis. The Indigenous sample comprised 1,378 adolescents enrolled in the Australian Federal Government’s Youth Connections Program. A sample of 6,401 non-Indigenous adolescents also enrolled in the Youth Connections Program represented a second comparative group. Finally, the third comparative group comprised a convenience sample of 983 Victorian high-school students. The results demonstrated strict factorial invariance between all three adolescent groups, suggesting that the PWI-SC measures the same underlying construct in each sample. These findings support quantitative comparisons between Indigenous and non-Indigenous SWB data as valid. The implications of this research are discussed.