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

  • Piia Seppälä
  • Saija Mauno
  • Taru Feldt
  • Jari Hakanen
  • Ulla Kinnunen
  • Asko Tolvanen
  • Wilmar Schaufeli


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 engagement Utrecht Work Engagement Scale Construct validity Factor structure Factorial group and time invariance Rank-order stability 



This study was supported by Yrjö Jahnsson foundation (Grant No.: 5459), Emil Aaltonen foundation, and The Finnish Work Environment Fund (Grant No.: 107200; Project No.: 104129, 105325, 105363).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piia Seppälä
    • 1
  • Saija Mauno
    • 1
  • Taru Feldt
    • 1
  • Jari Hakanen
    • 2
  • Ulla Kinnunen
    • 3
  • Asko Tolvanen
    • 1
  • Wilmar Schaufeli
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyFinnish Institute of Occupational HealthHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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