International Well-being Index: The Austrian Version
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The International Well-being Index (IWI) measures both personal and national well-being. It comprises two subscales: the Personal Well-being Index (PWI) and the National Well-being Index (NWI). The aim of this paper is to test the psychometric properties (validity and reliability) of the translated scale in Austria. Convergent validity is assessed using the Scales of Psychological Well-Being, the Satisfaction with Life Scale and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale. In addition, a Visual–Analog Scales capturing “satisfaction with life as a whole” was applied. The participants were 581 students of the Medical University Innsbruck (female: 47.7%; age: 23.2 ± 3.7). Internal consistency (Cronbach’s α) of the IWI was for both scales > .70 (PWI: .85; NWI: .83). The exploratory factor analysis of the IWI identified a 2-factor-structure identical with the two scales of the IWI explaining 54.2% of the variance. The convergent validity hypotheses were confirmed, construct validity was partly confirmed for the PWI being a deconstruction of a first factor called “satisfaction with life” (38.1% explained variance). Happy participants scored higher on the PWI (84.3 ± 7.9 vs. 68.7 ± 13.7; p < .001) and NWI (64.3 ± 15.8 vs. 57.9 ± 15.1; p < .001) scores than unhappy participants. It is concluded that the Austrian version of the IWI is a reliable and valid instrument to assess personal and national well-being. Further studies including a representative sample should be carried out on a recurring basis to use the IWI as an indicator for social science research in Austria.
KeywordsQuality of life IWI International Well-being Index Austria Social indicators research Subjective Well-being Satisfaction with life Psychological Well-being
This study was supported by an EU-Marie Curie Reintegration Grant (ERG-012844) and a grant by the “Tiroler Wissenschaftsfonds” of the local government of the Tyrol/Austria (UNI-0404/108) to Dr. Stefan Höfer. Dr. Daniela Renn was supported by a Research Fellowship of the Medical University Innsbruck (FS-2007-3-3).
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