Validation of the German Version of the Subjective Vitality Scale - a Cross-Sectional Study and a Randomized Controlled Trial

Abstract

Over the last decade, the concept of Subjective Vitality has gained popularity as one indicator of human well-being. However, today no valid instrument exists to measure Subjective Vitality in German speaking samples. To close this gap, we validated a German trait and state version of the Subjective Vitality Scale (Ryan and Frederick 1997). Study one (N = 632) used an online survey to examine factorial validity of the existing 7-, 6- and 5- item versions of the scale (Kawabata et al. 2017) in German. Concurrent validity was tested via the relationship to convergent and divergent measures, external correlates and basic psychological need fulfillment. Study two used a student sample (N = 58) to test the scale’s sensitivity to changes in state Subjective Vitality following two short interventions (brisk walk or strength-exploring interview) as compared to a control condition (objective self-description). We replicated acceptable model fit and the highest degree of parsimony for the 5-item version. Subjective Vitality as a trait showed negative relationships with measures of depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms and fatigue. Positive correlations were found for vigor, life satisfaction, weekly hours of leisure activity and feelings of competence, autonomy and relatedness. In contrast to the control condition, a 15-min brisk walk and a strength-exploring interview increased state levels of Subjective Vitality in participants. With regard to scale characteristics, sensitivity and validity, the 5-item trait and state version of the Subjective Vitality scale in German is recommended as corresponding standard to their international counterparts.

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Goldbeck, F., Hautzinger, M. & Wolkenstein, L. Validation of the German Version of the Subjective Vitality Scale - a Cross-Sectional Study and a Randomized Controlled Trial. J well-being assess 3, 17–37 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41543-019-00019-8

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Keywords

  • Subjective Vitality
  • Scale validation
  • Well-being
  • Self-determination theory