Skip to main content

Psychometric properties and factor structure of the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey Instrument in a sample of Spanish older adults

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the factor structure of the MOS-SSS in a sample of community-dwelling Spanish older adults. The sample comprised 406 community-dwelling older adults aged between 65 to 99 years old (Mage = 74.88, SD = 6.75). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed, and four possible models were compared: the one-factor, the three-factor, the four-factor and the five-factor model, using an additional analysis with a second-order factor. The internal consistency reliability and convergent validity of the scale were also assessed. For the 19-item MOS-SSS scale, the five-factor model had the best fit to the data. All five subscales of the MOS-SSS showed adequate internal consistency, good convergent and discriminant validity. These findings contribute to the literature on the factor structure of the MOS-SSS in Spanish older adults. The MOS-SSS is a reliable and valid scale that can be used to assess Spanish older adults’ social support perception for social services, health and in research contexts.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  • Ahmed T, Belanger E, Vafaei A, Koné GK, Alvarado B, Béland F, Zunzunegui MV (2018) Validation of a social networks and support measurement tool for use in international aging research: the international mobility in aging study. J Cross Cult Gerontol 33:101–120

    Google Scholar 

  • Alonso Fachado A, Montes Martínez A, Menéndez Villalva C, Pereira MG (2007) Adaptação cultural e validação da versão portuguesa: Questionário medical outcomes study social support survey (MOS-SSS). Acta Med Port 20:525–533

    Google Scholar 

  • Anderson D, Bilodeau B, Deshaies G, Gilbert M, Jobin J (2005) French-canadian validation of the MOS social support survey [Validation canadienne-francaise du “MOS Social Support Survey”]. Can J Cardiol 21:867–873

    Google Scholar 

  • Antonucci TC, Ajrouch KJ, Birditt KS (2014) The convoy model: Explaining social relations from a multidisciplinary perspective. Gerontologist 54:82–92

    Google Scholar 

  • Ashing-Giwa K, Rosales M (2013) A cross-cultural validation of patient-reported outcomes measures: a study of breast cancers survivors. Qual Life Res 22:295–308

    Google Scholar 

  • Baca D (2016) Confiabilidad y validez del cuestionario de apoyo social en pacientes con cáncer de Trujillo. Rev Inv Psicol 19:177–190

    Google Scholar 

  • Bagozzi RP, Yi Y (1988) On the evaluation of structural equation models. J Acad Market Sci 16:74–94

    Google Scholar 

  • Bagozzi RP, Yi Y, Phillips LW (1991) Assessing construct validity in organizational research. Adm Sci Q 36:421–458

    Google Scholar 

  • Bélanger E, Ahmed T, Vafaei A, Curcio CL, Phillips SP, Zunzunegui MV (2016) Sources of social support associated with health and quality of life: a cross-sectional study among Canadian and Latin American older adults. BMJ 6:e011503

    Google Scholar 

  • Belle D (1991) Gender differences in the social moderators of stress. In: Monat A, Lazarus RS (eds) Stress and coping: an anthology. Columbia University Press, pp 258–274

  • Beullens K, Loosveldt G, Vandenplas C (2019) Interviewer effects among older respondents in the European Social Survey. Int J Public Opin Res 31:609–625

    Google Scholar 

  • Birditt K, Newton NJ (2017) Theories of social support and aging. In: Pachana AN (ed) Encyclopedia of geropsychology. Springer, Singapore, pp 2216–2222

    Google Scholar 

  • Bowling A, Iliffe S (2011) Psychological approach to successful aging predicts future quality of life in older adults. Health Qual Life Outcomes 9:1–10

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown TA (2015) Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research, 2nd edn. The Guilford Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Burholt V, Windle G, Ferring D et al (2007) Reliability and validity of the older Americans resources and services (OARS) social resources scale in six European countries. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 62:371–379

    Google Scholar 

  • Burholt V, Dobbs C, Victor C (2018) Social support networks of older migrants in England and Wales: the role of collectivist culture. Ageing Soc 38:1453–1477

    Google Scholar 

  • Byrne BM (2012) Structural equation modeling with Mplus: basic concepts, applications, and programming. Routledge, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Chan YK, Lee RPL (2006) Network size, social support and happiness in later life: A comparative study of Beijing and Hong Kong. J Happiness Stud 7:87–112

    Google Scholar 

  • Chen Y, Feeley TH (2013) Social support, social strain, loneliness, and well-being among older adults. J Soc Pers Relat 31:141–161

    Google Scholar 

  • Choi E, Han KM, Chang J, Lee YJ, Choi KW, Han C, Ham BJ (2020) Social participation and depressive symptoms in community-dwelling older adults: emotional social support as a mediator. J Psychiatr Res. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.10.043

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Conte KP, Schure MB, Turner Goins R (2014) Correlates of social support in older American Indians: the Native Elder Care Study. Aging Ment Health 19:835–843

    Google Scholar 

  • Costa G, Salamero M, Gil F (2007) Validity of the questionnaire MOS-SSS of social support in neoplastic patients [Validación del cuestionario MOS-SSS de apoyo social en pacientes con cáncer]. Med Clin 128:687–691

    Google Scholar 

  • Eagly AH (2013) Sex differences in social behavior: a social-role interpretation. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, Mahwah

    Google Scholar 

  • Fan X, Thompson B, Wang L (1999) Effects of sample size, estimation methods, and model specification on structural equation modeling fit indexes. Struct Equ Model 6:56–83

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferreira VM, Sherman AM (2007) The relationship of optimism, pain and social support to well-being in older adults with osteoarthritis. Aging Ment Health 11:89–98

    Google Scholar 

  • Fornell C, Larcker DF (1981) Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. J Mark Res 18:39–50

    Google Scholar 

  • Gana K, Broc G (2019) Structural equation modeling with lavaan. ISTE ltd, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Giangrasso B, Casale S (2014) Psychometric properties of the medical outcome study social support survey with a general population sample of undergraduate students. Soc Indic Res 116:185–197

    Google Scholar 

  • Gjesfjeld CD, Greeno CG, Kim KH (2008) A confirmatory factor analysis of an abbreviated social support instrument: the MOS-SSS. Res Soc Work Pract 18:231–237

    Google Scholar 

  • Gómez-Campelo P, Pérez-Moreno EM, de Burgos-Lunar C et al (2014) Psychometric properties of the eight-item modified Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey based on Spanish outpatients. Qual Life Res 23:2073–2078

    Google Scholar 

  • Griep RH, Chor D, Faerstein E, Werneck GL, Lopes CS (2005) Construct validity of the medical outcomes study’s social support scale adapted to Portuguese in the pro-saude study. Cade Saude Publica 21:703–714

    Google Scholar 

  • Hair JF, Black WC, Babin BJ, Anderson RE (2014) Multivariate data analysis, 7th edn. Pearson Education, Essex

    Google Scholar 

  • Hardy SE, Concato J, Gill TM (2004) Resilience of community-dwelling older persons. J Am Geriatr Soc 52:257–262

    Google Scholar 

  • Heaney CA, Israel BA (2008) Social networks and social support. In: Glanz K, Rimer BK, Viswanath K (eds) Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp 189–210

    Google Scholar 

  • Henseler J, Ringle CM, Sarstedt M (2015) A new criterion for assessing discriminant validity in variance-based structural equation modeling. J Acad Mark Sci 43:115–135

    Google Scholar 

  • Holden L, Lee C, Hockey R, Ware RS, Dobson AJ (2015) Longitudinal analysis of relationships between social support and general health in an Australian population cohort of young women. Qual Life Res 24:485–492

    Google Scholar 

  • Hu L, Bentler PM (1999) Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Struct Equ Model 6:1–55

    Google Scholar 

  • Instituto Nacional de Estadística [INE, Spanish National Statistics Institute] (2011) European Health Survey in Spain 2009. INE. http://www.ine.es/jaxi/menu.do?type=pcaxis&path=/t15/p419&file=inebase&L=1. Accessed 20 Oct 2020

  • Jacobson NC, Lord KA, Newman MG (2017) Perceived emotional social support in bereaved spouses mediates the relationship between anxiety and depression. J Affect Disord 211:83–91

    Google Scholar 

  • Jorgensen TD, Pornprasertmanit S, Schoemann AM, Rosseel Y (2020) semTools: Useful tools for structural equation modeling. R package version 0.5-3. Retrieved from https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=semTools

  • Kendler KS, Myers J, Prescott CA (2005) Sex differences in the relationship between social support and risk for major depression: a longitudinal study of opposite-sex twin pairs. Am J Psychiatry 162:250–256

    Google Scholar 

  • Khuong LQ, Vu TT, Huynh VN, Thai TT (2018) Psychometric properties of the medical outcomes study: social support survey among methadone maintenance patients in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: a validation study. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 13:8

    Google Scholar 

  • Knäuper B, Carrière K, Chamandy M, Xu Z, Schwarz N, Rosen NO (2016) How aging affects self-reports. Eur J Ageing 13:185–193

    Google Scholar 

  • Korkmaz S, Goksuluk D, Zararsiz G (2014) MVN: An R package for assessing multivariate normality. R J 6:151

    Google Scholar 

  • Liu L, Gou Z, Zuo J (2016) Social support mediates loneliness and depression in elderly people. J Health Psychol 21:750–758

    Google Scholar 

  • Londoño NE, Rogers H, Castilla JF et al (2012) Validación en Colombia del cuestionario MOS de apoyo social. Int J Psychol Res 5:142–150

    Google Scholar 

  • López González FM, Cuenca Montero M, Viciana Garófano D et al (2000) Evaluación psicosocial de los ancianos de una zona básica de salud. Med Fam 26:383–423

    Google Scholar 

  • Lucas-Molina B, Pérez-Albéniz A, Fonseca-Pedrero E, Ortuño-Sierra J (2015) Programas educativos universitarios para mayores: Evaluación de su impacto en la autopercepción del apoyo social y la salud mental. Rev Colomb Psicol 24:47–60

    Google Scholar 

  • Mahmud WM, Awang A, Mohamed MN (2004) Psychometric evaluation of the medical outcome study (MOS) social support survey among Malay postpartum women in Kedah, North West of peninsular Malaysia. Malays J Med Sci 11:26–33

    Google Scholar 

  • Margolis R, Bellin MH, Sacco P, Harrington D, Butz A (2019) Evaluation of MOS social support in low-income caregivers of African American children with poorly controlled asthma. J Asthma 56:951–958

    Google Scholar 

  • Marsh HW, Hau KT, Wen Z (2004) In search of golden rules: comment on hypothesis testing approaches to setting cutoff values for fit indexes and dangers in overgeneralising Hu & Bentler’s (1999) findings. Struct Equ Model 11:20–341

    Google Scholar 

  • McHorney CA, Ware JE, Lu JR, Sherbourne CD (1994) The MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36): III. Tests of data quality, scaling assumptions, and reliability across diverse patient groups. Med Care 32:40–66

    Google Scholar 

  • Merz EM, Huxhold O (2010) Wellbeing depends on social relationship characteristics: comparing different types and providers of support to older adults. Ageing Soc 30:843–857

    Google Scholar 

  • Myhre JW, Mehl MR, Glisky EL (2017) Cognitive benefits of online social networking for healthy older adults. J Gerontol B Psy Sci Soc Sci 72:752–760

    Google Scholar 

  • Nicolini P, Abbate C, Inglese S, Rossi PD, Mari D, Cesari M (2020) Different dimensions of social support differentially predict psychological well-being in late life: opposite effects of perceived emotional support and marital status on symptoms of anxiety and of depression in older outpatients in Italy. Psychogeriatrics. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyg.12633

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Okamoto K, Tanaka Y (2004) Gender differences in the relationship between social support and subjective health among elderly persons in Japan. Prev med 38:318–322

    Google Scholar 

  • Olaya B, Domenech-Abella J, Moneta MV, Lara E, Caballero FF, Rico-Uribe LA, Haro JM (2017) All-cause mortality and multimorbidity in older adults: the role of social support and loneliness. Exp Gerontol 99:120–126

    Google Scholar 

  • Pais-Ribeiro JL, Ponte ACS (2009) Propiedades métricas da versão portuguesa da escala de suporte social do MOS (MOS Social Support Survey) com idosos. Psicol Saude Doenças 10:163–174

    Google Scholar 

  • Penninx BW, van Tilburg T, Boeke AJ, Deeg DJ, Kriegsman DM, van Eijk JT (1998) Effects of social support and personal coping resources on depressive symptoms: different for various chronic diseases? Health Psychol 17:551–558

    Google Scholar 

  • Phillips JE, Ajrouch KJ, Hillcoat-Nallétamby S (eds) (2010) Social support. In: Key concepts in social gerontology. Sage, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Pillemer SC, Holtzer R (2016) The differential relationships of dimensions of perceived social support with cognitive function among older adults. Aging Ment Health 20:727–735

    Google Scholar 

  • Priede A, Andreu Y, Martínez P et al (2018) The factor structure of the medical outcomes study–social support survey: a comparison of different models in a sample of recently diagnosed cancer patients. J Psychosom Res 108:32–38

    Google Scholar 

  • R Core Team (2018). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. https://www.R-project.org/

  • Revilla L, Luna J, Bailón E, Medina I (2005) Validación del cuestionario MOS de apoyo social en atención primaria. Med Fam 6:10–18

    Google Scholar 

  • Rhemtulla M, Brosseau-Liard PE, Savalei V (2012) When can categorical variables be treated as continuous? A comparison of robust continuous and categorical SEM estimation methods under suboptimal conditions. Psychol Methods 17:354–373

    Google Scholar 

  • Robitaille A, Orpana H, McIntosh CN (2011) Psychometric properties, factorial structure, and measurement invariance of the English and French versions of the medical outcomes study social support scale. Health Rep 22:33–40

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosseel Y (2012) lavaan: an R Package for Structural Equation Modeling. J Stat Softw 48:1–36

    Google Scholar 

  • Satorra A, Bentler PM (2001) A scaled difference chi-square test statistic for moment structure analysis. Psychometrika 66:507–514

    Google Scholar 

  • Satorra A, Bentler PM (2010) Ensuring positiveness of the scaled difference chi-square test statistic. Psychometrika 75:243–248

    Google Scholar 

  • Seeman TE, Lusignolo TM, Albert M, Berkman L (2001) Social relationships, social support, and patterns of cognitive aging in healthy, high-functioning older adults: MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. Health Psychol 20:243–255

    Google Scholar 

  • Sherbourne CD, Stewart AL (1991) The MOS social support survey. Soc Sci Med 32:705–714

    Google Scholar 

  • Shyu YL, Tang W, Liang J, Weng L (2006) Psychometric testing of the social support survey on a Taiwanese sample. Nurs Res 55:411–417

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith GL, Banting L, Eime R, O’Sullivan G, van Uffelen JGZ (2017) The association between social support and physical activity in older adults: a systematic review. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 14:56

    Google Scholar 

  • Voorhees CM, Brady MK, Calantone R, Ramirez E (2016) Discriminant validity testing in marketing: an analysis, causes for concern, and proposed remedies. J Acad Mark Sci 44:119–134

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang X (2016) Subjective well-being associated with size of social network and social support of elderly. J Health Psychol 21:1037–1042

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang J, Wang X (2012) Structural equation modeling: applications using Mplus. Wiley, Chichester

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang W, Zheng X, He HG, Thompson DR (2013) Psychometric testing of the Chinese Mandarin version of the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey in patients with coronary heart disease in mainland China. Qual Life Res 22:1965–1971

    Google Scholar 

  • Westaway MS, Seager JR, Rheeder P, Van Zyl DG (2005) The effects of social support on health, well-being and management of diabetes mellitus: a black south African perspective. Ethn Health 10:73–89

    Google Scholar 

  • Yu Y, Yang JP, Shiu C et al (2015) Psychometric testing of the Chinese version of the medical outcomes study social support survey among people living with HIV/AIDS in China. Appl Nurs Res 28:328–333

    Google Scholar 

  • Zanini DS, Peixoto EM (2016) Social support scale (MOS-SSS): analysis of the psychometric properties via item response theory. Paideia 26:359–368

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

Funding was provided by the Secretaría General de Universidades Investigación y Tecnología de la Junta de Andalucía (call 2009-BOJA 47 10.03.2009) and the European Social Fund.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cristina G. Dumitrache.

Additional information

Responsible Editor: Marja J. Aartsen.

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dumitrache, C.G., Rubio, L., Cabezas Casado, J.L. et al. Psychometric properties and factor structure of the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey Instrument in a sample of Spanish older adults. Eur J Ageing 19, 143–154 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-021-00612-y

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-021-00612-y

Keywords

  • Social support
  • Older adults
  • Factor structure
  • Confirmatory factor analysis