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The Evaluation of a Self-enumerated Scale of Quality of Life (CASP-19) in the Context of Research on Ageing: A Combination of Exploratory and Confirmatory Approaches

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This paper describes the conceptual development of a self-enumerated scale of quality of life (CASP-19) and presents an empirical evaluation of its structure using a combination of exploratory and confirmatory factor analytic approaches across three different survey settings for older people living in England and Wales in the new millennium. All evaluations are conducted using MPlus which allows the analyst to evaluate the properties of the scale for a set of multivariate categorical items which are subject to item non-response. CASP-19 is a subjective measure of well-being derived from an explicit theory of human need spanning four life domains: control, autonomy, self-realisation and pleasure. Put formally, CASP-19 is a self-reported summative index consisting of 19 Likert scale items. The three survey settings include a postal survey of 263 people in early old age followed up from childhood when the respondents were first interviewed in the 1930's, the first wave (2002) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA_1) and the eleventh wave of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS_11) also conducted in 2002. These nationally representative surveys consisted of 9300 and 6471 respondents aged 55 years and older. The Boyd-Orr sample provides an exploratory context for the evaluation and ELSA_1 together with BHPS_11 provide the opportunity for confirmatory analyses of three measurement models. There is some support for the use of CASP-19 as a stand alone summative index. However, the analysis reveals that a shortened 12-item scale which combines the life domains 'control and autonomy' in a second order measurement model is the recommended model for analysts. The work was funded under the UK's Economic and Social Research Council's Growing Older Programme and their Priority Network on Human Capability and Resilience. Grant Nos. L480254016 & L326253061.

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  1. Throughout the project we had regular meetings with our Advisory Panel consisting of Lee Berney, Anne Bowling, Maria Evandrou, Chris Gilleard, Katerina Hilari, Aubrey McKennell and Roger Thomas,

  2. The full acronym refers to weighted least squares estimation using a diagonal weight matrix with standard errors and mean and variance adjusted chi-square test that uses a full weight matrix (see page 368 in Muthén and Muthén 2004).

  3. An earlier 12-item version of CASP was proposed on the basis of an analysis of Boyd Orr_2000 using AMOS (Arbuckle and Wotkhe 1999) and applied by Von dem Knesebeck et al. (2005) for the SHARE project mentioned in reference to Börsch-Supan et al. (2005). Ten of the items coincide with the version recommended here.


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Correspondence to R. D. Wiggins.



CASP-12 item wording arranged by domain categories

Original item number

Statements by domain

Control and autonomy

1 CAa

My age prevents me from doing the things I would like to do

2 CAa

I feel that what happens to me is out of my control

4 CAa

I feel left out of things

5 CA

I can do the things I want to do

7 CA

I feel that I can please myself what I do

9 CAa

Shortage of money stops me from doing things I want to do


10 P

I look forward to each day

11 P

I feel that my life has meaning

12 P

I enjoy the things that I do


15 S

I feel full of energy these days

18 S

I feel that life is full of opportunities

19 S

I feel that the future looks good for me

  1. aItem reverse coded for scoring

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Wiggins, R.D., Netuveli, G., Hyde, M. et al. The Evaluation of a Self-enumerated Scale of Quality of Life (CASP-19) in the Context of Research on Ageing: A Combination of Exploratory and Confirmatory Approaches. Soc Indic Res 89, 61–77 (2008).

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