Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Measurement Invariance of Ryff’s Psychological Well-being Scales Across Italian and Belarusian Students

  • 1057 Accesses

  • 21 Citations


Cross-cultural researches on the Ryff’s Psychological Well-being (PWB) Scales are currently not available. The aim of the paper was to investigate the measurement invariance of the 18-item version of the PWB Scales across 1,114 high school and undergraduate Italian and Belarusian students. After identifying the six correlated first-order factors and one second-order factor model of the Ryff’s PWB Scales, as baseline model for each sample, multi-groups confirmatory factor analyses were subsequently performed. All analyses were performed using the Robust Diagonally Weighted Least Squares estimation procedures, entering a polychoric correlation matrix. Multi-groups analyses showed that factor structure of the preferred model did not change across the Italian and Belarusian samples. Although the obtained results provided a preliminary support for cross-cultural structural invariance of the PWB Scales, further investigations are required to ensure its generalizability and applicability. Limitations and suggestions for future researches as well as psychosocial applications for educational context were discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. Abbott, R. A., Ploubidis, G. B., Huppert, F. A., Kuh, D., & Croudace, T. J. (2010). An evaluation of the precision of measurement of Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being Scales in a population sample. Social Indicators Research, 97(3), 357–373.

  2. Abbott, R. A., Ploubidis, G. B., Huppert, F. A., Kuh, D., Wadsworth, M. E. J., & Croudace, T. J. (2006). Psychometric evaluation and predictive validity of Ryff’s psychological well-being items in a UK birth color sample of women. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 4(1), 76.

  3. Allport, G. W. (1961). Pattern and growth in personality. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

  4. Ang, R. P., Klassen, R. M., Chong, W. H., Huan, V. S., Wong, I. Y. F., Yeo, L. S., et al. (2009). Cross-cultural invariance of the Academic Expectations Stress Inventory: Adolescent samples from Canada and Singapore. Journal of Adolescence, 32(5), 1225–1237.

  5. Benson, N., Hulac, D. M., & Kranzler, J. H. (2010). Independent examination of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV): What does the WAIS-IV measure? Psychological Assessment, 22(1), 121–130.

  6. Burns, R. A., & Machin, M. A. (2009). Investigating the structural validity of Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being Scales across two samples. Social Indicators Research, 93(2), 359–375.

  7. Burns, R. A., & Machin, M. A. (2010). Identifying gender differences in the independent effects of personality and psychological well-being on two broad affect components of subjective well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(1), 22–27.

  8. Byrne, B. M. (2006). Structural equation modeling with EQS. Basic concepts, applications, and programming (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  9. Byrne, B. M. (2008). Testing for multigroup equivalence of a measuring instrument: A walk through the process. Psicothema, 20(4), 872–882.

  10. Byrne, B. M., Baron, P., Larsson, B., & Melin, L. (1995). The Beck Depression Inventory: Testing and cross-validating a second-order factorial structure for Swedish nonclinical adolescents. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33(3), 345–356.

  11. Byrne, B. M., & Campbell, T. L. (1999). Cross-cultural comparisons and the presumption of equivalent measurement and theoretical structure: A look beneath the surface. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 30(5), 555–574.

  12. Byrne, B. M., Oakland, T., Leong, F. T. L., Van de Vijver, F. J. R., Hambleton, R. K., & Cheung, F. M. (2009). A critical analysis of cross-cultural research and testing practices: Implications for improved education and training in psychology. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 3(2), 94–105.

  13. Byrne, B. M., & Watkins, D. (2003). The issue of measurement invariance revisited. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 34(2), 155–175.

  14. Chen, F. F., Sousa, K. H., & West, S. G. (2005). Testing measurement invariance of second-order factor models. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 12(3), 471–492.

  15. Cheng, S. T., & Chan, A. C. (2005). Measuring psychological well-being in the Chinese. Personality and Individual Differences, 38(6), 1307–1316.

  16. Cheung, G. W., & Rensvold, R. B. (1999). Testing factorial invariance across groups: A reconceptualization and proposed new method. Journal of Management, 25(1), 1–27.

  17. Clarke, P. J., Marshall, V. W., Ryff, C. D., & Wheaton, B. (2001). Measuring psychological well-being in the Canadian study of health and aging. International Psychogeriatrics, 13(S1), 79–90.

  18. Erhart, M., Ellert, U., Kurth, B.-M., & Ravens-Sieberer, U. (2009). Measuring adolescents’ HRQoL via self reports and parent proxy reports: An evaluation of the psychometric properties of both versions of the KINDL-R instrument. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 7(77). http://www.hqlo.com/content/7/1/77.

  19. Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York, NY: Norton.

  20. Fan, J., Wong, C. C., Carroll, S. A., & Lopez, F. J. (2008). An empirical investigation of the influence of social desirability on the factor structure of the Chinese 16PF. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(8), 790–795.

  21. Fava, G. A., Rafanelli, C., Ottolini, F., Ruini, C., Cazzaro, M., & Grandi, S. (2001). Psychological well-being and residual symptoms in remitted patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Journal of Affective Disorders, 65(2), 185–190.

  22. Feaster, D. J., Robbins, M. S., Henderson, C., Horigian, V., Puccinelli, M. J., Burlew, A. K., et al. (2010). Equivalence of family functioning and externalizing behaviors in adolescent substance users of different race/ethnicity. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 38(S1), 113–124.

  23. Fernandes, H. M., Vasconcelos-Raposo, J., & Teixeira, C. M. (2010). Preliminary analysis of the psychometric properties of Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Well-Being in Portuguese adolescents. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 13(2), 1032–1043.

  24. Giannetti, E., Penzo, I., Rigoli, S., & Sirigatti, S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and college maladjustment as correlates of psychological well-being: A preliminary research. In V. V. Semenova, & G. V. Losik (Eds.). Sovremennie podchodi k prodvijeniju zdorovija. [Modern approach to health promotion.] (pp. 38–42). Gomel, Belarus: Gomel State Medical University.

  25. Grant, A. M. (2006). A personal perspective on professional coaching and the development of coaching psychology. International Coaching Psychology Review, 1(1), 12–22.

  26. Gregorich, S. E. (2006). Do self-report instruments allow meaningful comparisons across diverse population groups? Testing measurement invariance using the confirmatory factor analysis framework. Medical Care, 44(11 Suppl. 3), 78–94.

  27. Hill, C. R., & Hughes, J. N. (2007). An examination of the convergent and discriminant validity of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. School Psychology Quarterly, 22(3), 380–406.

  28. Hofer, S. M., Horn, J. L., & Eber, H. W. (1997). A robust five-factor structure of the 16 PF: Strong evidence from independent rotation and confirmatory factorial invariance procedures. Personality and Individual Differences, 23(2), 247–269.

  29. Holgado-Tello, F. P., Chacón-Moscoso, S., Barbero-García, I., & Vila-Abad, E. (2010). Polychoric versus Pearson correlations in exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of ordinal variables. Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, 44(1), 153–166.

  30. Horn, J. L., & McArdle, J. J. (1992). A practical and theoretical guide to measurement invariance in aging research. Experimental Aging Research, 18(3–4), 117–144.

  31. Iacobucci, D. (2010). Structural equations modelling: Fit indices, sample size, and advanced topics. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 20(1), 90–98.

  32. Jahoda, C. (1958). Current concepts of positive mental health. New York, NY: Basic Books.

  33. Jöreskog, K. G. (1994). On the estimation of polychoric correlations and their asymptotic covariance matrix. Psychometrika, 59(3), 381–389.

  34. Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (2006). LISREL 8.80 for windows [computer software]. Lincolnwood, IL: Scientific Software International.

  35. Jung, C. G. (1933). Modern man in search of a soul. New York, NY: Hartcourt, Brace, & World.

  36. Keyes, C. L. M., Shmotkin, D., & Ryff, C. D. (2002). Optimizing wellbeing: The empirical encounter of two traditions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(6), 1007–1022.

  37. King, D. W., Orazem, R. J., Lauterbach, D., King, L. A., Hebenstreit, C. L., & Shalev, A. Y. (2009). Factor structure of posttraumatic stress disorder as measured by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised: Stability across cultures and time. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 1(3), 173–187.

  38. Lavasani, M. G., Borhanzadeh, S., Afzali, L., & Hejazi, E. (2011). The relationship between perceived parenting styles, social support with psychological well-being. Procedia, Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 1852–1856.

  39. Lindfors, P., Berntsson, L., & Lundberg, U. (2006). Factor structure of Ryff’s psychological well-being scales in Swedish female and male white-collar workers. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(6), 1213–1222.

  40. Linley, P. A., Maltby, J., Wood, A. M., Osborne, G., & Hurling, R. (2009). Measuring happiness: The higher order factor structure of subjective and psychological well-being measures. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(8), 878–884.

  41. Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a psychology of being (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Van Nostrand.

  42. Milfont, T. L., & Fischer, R. (2010). Testing measurement invariance across groups: Applications in cross-cultural research. International Journal of Psychological Research, 3(1), 111–121.

  43. Neugarten, B. L. (1968). The awareness of middle age. In B. L. Neugarten (Ed.), Middle age and aging (pp. 93–98). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

  44. Nye, C. D., Roberts, B. W., Saucier, G., & Zhou, X. (2008). Testing the measurement equivalence of personality adjective items across cultures. Journal of Research in Personality, 42(6), 1524–1536.

  45. Penzo, I., Giannetti, E., Stefanile, C., & Sirigatti, S. (2011). Stili umoristici e possibili relazioni con il benessere psicologico secondo una versione italiana dello Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ). Psicologia della Salute, 2, 49–66.

  46. Robitschek, C., & Keyes, C. L. M. (2009). Keyes’s model of mental health with personal growth initiative as a parsimonious predictor. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(2), 321–329.

  47. Rogers, C. R. (1961). On becoming a person. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

  48. Ruini, C., Ottolini, F., Rafanelli, C., Ryff, C. D., & Fava, G. A. (2003). La validazione italiana delle Psychological Well-Being Scales (PWB). Rivista di Psichiatria, 38(3), 117–130.

  49. Ruini, C., Ottolini, F., Tomba, E., Belaise, C., Albieri, E., Visani, D., et al. (2009). School intervention for promoting psychological well-being in adolescence. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 40(4), 522–532.

  50. Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(6), 1069–1081.

  51. Ryff, C. D., & Keyes, C. L. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(4), 719–727.

  52. Salama-Younes, M., Ismaïl, A., Montazeri, A., & Roncin, C. (2011). Factor structure of the French Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being Scales for active older adults. In I. Brdar (Ed.), The human pursuit of well-being. A cultural approach (pp. 203–212). Dordrecht: Springer.

  53. Schermelleh-Engel, K., Moosbrugger, H., & Müller, H. (2003). Evaluating the fit of structural equation models: Tests of significance and descriptive goodness-of-fit measures. Methods of Psychological Research Online, 8(2), 23–74.

  54. Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14.

  55. Shevlin, M., & Adamson, G. (2005). Alternative factor models and factorial invariance of the GHQ-12: A large analysis using confirmatory factor analysis. Psychological Assessment, 17(2), 231–236.

  56. Shevlin, M., Brunsden, V., & Miles, J. N. V. (1998). Satisfaction with Life Scale: Analysis of factorial invariance, mean structures and reliability. Personality and Individual Differences, 25(5), 911–916.

  57. Sirigatti, S., Stefanile, C., Giannetti, E., Iani, L., Penzo, I., & Mazzeschi, A. (2009). Assessment of factor structure of Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being Scales in Italian adolescents. Bollettino di Psicologia Applicata, 56(259), 30–50.

  58. Springer, K. W., & Hauser, R. M. (2006). An assessment of the construct validity of Ryff’s scales of psychological well-being: Method, mode, and measurement effects. Social Science Research, 35(4), 1080–1102.

  59. Springer, K. W., Pudrovska, T., & Hauser, R. M. (2011). Does psychological well-being change with age? Longitudinal tests of age variations and further exploration of the multidimensionality of Ryff’s model of psychological well-being. Social Science Research, 40, 392–398.

  60. Triadó, C., Villar, F., Solé, C., & Celdrán, M. (2007). Construct validity of Ryff’s scale of psychological well-being in Spanish older adults. Psychological Reports, 100(3c), 1151–1164.

  61. Van Dierendonck, D. (2004). The construct validity of Ryff’s scales of psychological well-being and its extension with spiritual well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 36(3), 629–643.

  62. Van Dierendonck, D., Díaz, D., Rodríguez-Carvajal, R., Blanco, A., & Moreno-Jiménez, B. (2008). Ryff’s six-factor model of psychological well-being. A Spanish exploration. Social Science Research, 87(3), 473–479.

  63. Vandenberg, R. J., & Lance, C. E. (2000). A review and synthesis of the measurement invariance literature: Suggestions, practices, and recommendations for organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 3(1), 4–70.

  64. Wang, J., Kelly, B. C., Booth, B. M., Falk, R. S., Leukefeld, C., & Carlson, R. G. (2010). Examining factorial structure and measurement invariance of the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI)-18 among drug users. Addictive Behaviors, 35(1), 23–29.

  65. World Health Organization. (1946). Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, June 19–22, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 states (Official Records of the World Health Organization, 2, 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.

  66. Wu, C.-H., & Yao, G. (2006). Analysis of factorial invariance across gender in the Taiwan version of the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(6), 1259–1268.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Luca Iani.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sirigatti, S., Penzo, I., Iani, L. et al. Measurement Invariance of Ryff’s Psychological Well-being Scales Across Italian and Belarusian Students. Soc Indic Res 113, 67–80 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-012-0082-0

Download citation


  • Eudaimonic well-being
  • Flourishing
  • Structural invariance
  • Cross-cultural
  • Confirmatory factor analysis