Self-Reported Capabilities Among Young Male Adults in Switzerland: Translation and Psychometric Evaluation of a German, French and Italian Version of a Closed Survey Instrument
- 383 Downloads
There is a shortage of empirical applications of the capability approach that employ closed survey instruments to assess self-reported capabilities. However, for those few instruments that have been designed and administered through surveys until now, no psychometric properties (reliability, validity, and factor structure) were reported. The purpose of this study is the assessment of the psychometric properties of three new language versions (German, French, and Italian) of an established (English) set of eight self-reported capability items. The set of items is taken from a previously published British study by Anand and van Hees (J Soc Econ 35(2):268–284, 2006). Our sample consists of 17,152 young male adults aged 18–25 years from the three major language regions in Switzerland. The results indicate good reliability of the three language versions. The results from the exploratory factor analyses suggest a one-dimensional factor structure for seven domain specific items. Furthermore, the results from multiple regression analyses suggest that a global summary item on overall capabilities represents a measurement alternative to the set of seven domain specific capability items. Finally, the results confirm the applicability of the closed capability instrument in a large scale survey questionnaire and represent the first attempt to measure self-reported capabilities in Switzerland.
KeywordsSelf-reported capabilities Measurement Psychometric properties Exploratory factor analysis Young adults Switzerland
This study was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (No. 105313_130068_/1). We thank Paul Anand for permission to use the original English set of capability items. The study used data from the “Swiss Federal Surveys of Adolescents (ch-x)” collected by the ch-x research consortium ch-x cc. Project management: Institute for the Management and Economics of Education, University of Teacher Education Central Switzerland Zug: Stephan Huber. Research partners: Institute for Education Evaluation, associated institute of the University of Zurich: Urs Moser; Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern: Thomas Abel; and the Department of Sociology, University of Geneva: Sandro Cattacin.
- Burchardt, T., & le Grand, J. (2002). Constraint and opportunity: identifying voluntary non-employment. Londen School of Economics, ESRC Research Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion. http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cp/CASEpaper55.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Burchardt, T., & Vizard, P. (2007). Definition of equality and framework for measurement: final recommendations of the equalities review steering group on measurement. London School of Economics, ESRC Research Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion. http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cp/CASEpaper120.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Clark, D. (2002). Visions of development: A study of human values. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Crocker, D. (2008). Sen’s concepts of agency. University of Maryland, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy. http://www.capabilityapproach.com/pubs/CrockerAgency7-31-08.doc. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport. (2012). Annual numbers of recruits and conscripts in Switzerland. http://www.vbs.admin.ch. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Fleurbaey, M. (2008). Individual well-being and social welfare: Notes on the theory. http://www.commission-stiglitz-sen-fitoussi.fr/documents/Individual_Well Being_and_Social_Welfare.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Harkness, J. (2003). Questionnaire translation. In J. Harkness, F. van de Vijver, & P. Mohler (Eds.), Cross-cultural survey methods (pp. 35–56). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- International Wellbeing Group. (2006). Personal wellbeing index. Deakin University, Australian Centre on Quality of Life. http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/instruments/wellbeing-index/. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Lorgelly, P., Lorimer, K., Fenwick, E., & Briggs, A. (2008). The capability approach: Developing an instrument for evaluating public health interventions. Final Report. University of Glasgow, Section of Public Health and Health Policy. http://www.gcph.co.uk/assets/0000/0430/Capabilities_-_full_report__August_08.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Mohler-Kuo, M., Wydler, H., Zellweger, U., & Gutzwiller, F. (2006). Differences in health status and health behaviour among young Swiss adults between 1993 and 2003. Swiss Medical Weekly, 136(29–30), 464–472.Google Scholar
- Nussbaum, M. (2006). Frontiers of justice. disability, nationality, species membership. Cambridge: Belknap.Google Scholar
- Pett, M., Lackey, N., & Sullivan, J. (2003). Making sense of factor analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Robeyns, I. (2000). An unworkable idea or a promising alternative? Sen’s capability approach re-examined. University of Leuven, Center for Economic Studies. http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/eng/ew/discussionpapers/Dps00/Dps0030.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Robeyns, I. (2006a). Measuring gender inequality in functionings and capabilities: Findings from the British Household Panel Survey. In P. Bharati & M. Pal (Eds.), Gender disparity: Manifestations, causes and implications (pp. 236–277). New Delhi: Anmol.Google Scholar
- Robeyns, I., & van der Veen, R. (2007). Sustainable quality of life. Conceptual analysis for a policy-relevant empirical specification. Bilthoven: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the University of Amsterdam. http://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/550031006.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Sen, A. (1985a). Commodities and capabilities. New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Sen, A. (1987). On ethics and economics. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- StataCorp. (2009). Stata statistical software: Release 11. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP.Google Scholar
- Tabachnick, B., & Fidell, L. (2006). Using multivariate statistics. Boston: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
- Volkert, J., & Schneider, F. (2011). The application of the capability approach to high-income OECD countries: A preliminary survey. Munich: Centre for Economic Studies. http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/1200018.PDF. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- Zumbo, B., Gelin, M., & Hubley, A. (2002). The construction and use of psychological tests and measures. In the Psychology theme of the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. Oxford: EOLSS. http://www.educ.ubc.ca/faculty/zumbo/talks/Zumbo_Gelin_Hubley_EOLSS.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2012.