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Measuring social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal youth using strong souls: A Rasch measurement approach

Gorman, E., Heritage, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-6437-7232, Shepherd, C.C.J. and Marriott, R.ORCID: 0000-0002-6037-2565 (2021) Measuring social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal youth using strong souls: A Rasch measurement approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (16). Article 8425.

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Currently, there are few robustly evaluated social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) measures available for use with Aboriginal youth in research, policy, and practice. As such, this study used a Rasch measurement approach to examine the psychometric properties of Strong Souls, a 25-item self-reported SEWB instrument, created for use with Aboriginal youth in the Northern Territory. Our sample (N = 154) included youth (15–25 years old) living on Whadjuk (metropolitan Western Australia; N = 91) and Kamilaroi countries (rural New South Wales; N = 63). Using Rasch modelling techniques, evidence for multidimensionality in the scale was observed, resulting in subsequent analyses conducted separately on two subscales: Psychological Distress and Resilience. The Resilience subscale did not meet the Rasch model assumptions, with poor person and item separation and reliability indexes suggesting the scale was not reliably differentiating between participants’ Resilience scores. The Psychological Distress subscale had mixed separation and reliability index results, with good construct validity implied but poorer ability to target the distress of participants. Our findings provide novel evidence demonstrating the functioning of Strong Souls in a contemporary sample of Aboriginal youth, suggesting further modifications of the instrument are required before it can be used with confidence as a reliable measure in this population group.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Ngangk Yira Research Centre
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
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