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Age-Related Differences in the Factor Structure of Multiple Wellbeing Indicators in a Large Multinational European Survey

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  • R. A. Burns

    (The Australian National University)

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that uni-dimensional wellbeing models often report comparable and sometimes better fit to multi-dimensional and hierarchical models. Recent proliferation in Bi-Factor modelling supports a general factor reflecting substantial commonality in wellbeing indicators. The current study examines age-related differences in the factor structure of wellbeing across the lifespan. Participants (n = 42,038) were from the European Social Survey (ESS), a large multi-national study who completed the ESS wellbeing module. Confirmatory Factor (CFA) and Bi-factor analyses revealed a uni-dimensional model reported best fit. Age differences in the magnitude and rank order of factor loadings was supported by a formal invariance test of the factor loadings although these differences did not substantially impact on factor scores. In line with a growing body of CFA and Bi-Factor findings, ESS wellbeing indicators reflect one general wellbeing factor. Despite age differences in the factor loadings, these differences had little adverse impact on overall wellbeing score. Overall, a uni-dimensional factor structure was consistent over the lifespan.

Suggested Citation

  • R. A. Burns, 2020. "Age-Related Differences in the Factor Structure of Multiple Wellbeing Indicators in a Large Multinational European Survey," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 37-52, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:21:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-019-00077-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-019-00077-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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