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Personal Wellbeing Index: A Cross-Cultural Measurement Invariance Study Across Four Countries

Abstract

The comparison of subjective well-being scores across countries is increasingly being used as an indicator of societal progress. In this study we examined measurement invariance for the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI), which measures subjective well-being, across Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia. The sample included a total of 5275 adult participants. Initially, the single-factor model of the PWI showed an adequate fit to the data only in Australia. Due to a poor fit in the remaining three countries we decided to test the single-factor structure on an abbreviated version of the scale. In order to shorten the PWI, we excluded two items (satisfactions with community-connectedness and future security) which demonstrated the lowest unique value in predicting global life satisfaction. The single-factor structure of the 5-item PWI (PWI-5) was supported in all four countries. Measurement invariance testing supported the partial scalar invariance of the PWI-5, thus allowing for latent mean comparisons. Latent mean analysis indicated higher life satisfaction in Australia, as compared with the other three countries. The PWI-5 correlated highly with the full scale. These findings suggest that the 5-item version of the PWI may be more suitable for cross-cultural comparisons.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Grant No. 179006).

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Correspondence to Veljko Jovanović.

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Jovanović, V., Cummins, R.A., Weinberg, M. et al. Personal Wellbeing Index: A Cross-Cultural Measurement Invariance Study Across Four Countries. J Happiness Stud 20, 759–775 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-9966-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-9966-2

Keywords

  • Measurement invariance
  • Personal Wellbeing Index
  • Life satisfaction
  • Domain satisfaction
  • Cross-cultural comparison