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Monitoring Preadolescents’ Well-being: Italian Validation of the Middle Years Development Instrument

Abstract

The aim of this study was to translate into Italian and validate the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI). This population-level measure was developed and validated in English by Schonert-Reichl and colleagues Social Indicators Research, 114, 345–369, (2013) to measure well-being in preadolescents who were aged between six and twelve years. Our purpose was to test the MDI in the Swiss State of Canton Ticino, in which Italian is the official language. A total of 1942 6th and 7th grade preadolescents completed the questionnaire (50% girls). To assess the factor structure of the scales, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were performed, which identified Social and emotional development, Connectedness and School experiences dimensions of the MDI Italian-version, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were performed. Then, multiple-group CFAs were computed in order to assess gender and native language invariance. We computed Cronbach’s alphas and correlations between scales. EFA and CFAs confirmed that the factor structure of the MDI was adequate. Analyses of invariance supported the factor structure of the MDI and its utility for comparative research. In general, the analyses confirmed that the MDI-Swiss-Italian version is a valid and reliable instrument for measuring preadolescents’ well-being.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all the schools, principals, teachers and children involved in the project for their essential and precious collaboration. Our great gratitude goes, above all, to our Canadian colleagues, who shared the MDI project with us in a friendly and generous way.

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Castelli, L., Marcionetti, J., Crescentini, A. et al. Monitoring Preadolescents’ Well-being: Italian Validation of the Middle Years Development Instrument. Child Ind Res 11, 609–628 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-017-9459-6

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Keywords

  • Preadolescents
  • Well-being
  • Middle years development instrument
  • Validation
  • Italian