9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN01 Ageing in Europe

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Neighbourhood Building II, C5.08

Community Wellbeing Index: A valid and reliable measure of subjective quality of life in older adults

Background/Purpose: The International Wellbeing Index (IWI) is a measure of subjective wellbeing, developed as a tool for cross-cultural comparisons. It is formed by two subscales, the Personal Wellbeing Index and National Wellbeing Index. This paper aims at validating a new subscale, the Community Wellbeing Index (CWI) to assess the individual's level of satisfaction with the place of residence.
Methods: The IWI was satisfactorily applied to survey the global quality of life of a community sample of 1106 older adults residing in Spain. A middle-level subscale was developed, the CWI, referring to the satisfaction with several aspects of the city or place of residence. Rasch analysis of the CWI was performed using the RUMM2020 software on a random subsample of 300 cases. The following attributes were analysed: reliability, differential item functioning by gender, unidimensionality, internal construct validity, response category ordering, and scale targeting.
Results: Of the initial 12 items, two (wealth distribution and life in general in the place of residence) displayed misfit to the Rasch model and were therefore removed. Since the response categories of most items were disordered, items response categories were rescored. The resulting model displayed an excellent fit, with a Personal Separation Index of 0.90 indicating a good reliability, an interaction chi-square of 44.72, p = 0.28 indicating no significant difference from the Rasch model, an item fit residual of 0.263 ± 0.984 (M ± SD), and a person fit residual of -0.874 ± 2.076. All items were free from gender bias. Further tests of unidimensionality revealed the presence of two factors: one comprising social conditions, social services, support to families, and leisure items; and the other formed by trust in people, belonging, and security items. An exploratory factor analysis in principal components with varimax rotation replicated the 3-factor structure of the IWI.
Discussion/conclusions: The CWI is a valid and reliable measure of subjective wellbeing related to the community as assessed by older adults. Further research with this promising measure should focus on cross-national comparisons.