Original Research

The structural validity of the Experience of Work and Life Circumstances Questionnaire (WLQ)

Pieter Schaap, Esli Kekana
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 42, No 1 | a1349 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v42i1.1349 | © 2016 Pieter Schaap, Esli Kekana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 February 2016 | Published: 28 September 2016

About the author(s)

Pieter Schaap, Department of Human Resources Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Esli Kekana, Department of Human Resources Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Best practice frameworks suggest that an assessment practitioner’s choice of an assessment tool should be based on scientific evidence that underpins the appropriate and just use of the instrument. This is a context-specific validity study involving a classified psychological instrument against the background of South African regulatory frameworks and contemporary validity theory principles.

Research purpose: The aim of the study was to explore the structural validity of the Experience of Work and Life Circumstances Questionnaire (WLQ) administered to employees in the automotive assembly plant of a South African automotive manufacturing company.

Motivation for the study: Although the WLQ has been used by registered health practitioners and numerous researchers, evidence to support the structural validity is lacking. This study, therefore, addressed the need for context-specific empirical support for the validity of score inferences in respect of employees in a South African automotive manufacturing plant.

Research design, approach and method: The research was conducted using a convenience sample (N = 217) taken from the automotive manufacturing company where the instrument was used. Reliability and factor analyses were carried out to explore the structural validity of the WLQ.

Main findings: The reliability of the WLQ appeared to be acceptable, and the assumptions made about unidimensionality were mostly confirmed. One of the proposed higher-order structural models of the said questionnaire administered to the sample group was confirmed, whereas the other one was partially confirmed.

Practical/managerial implications: The conclusion reached was that preliminary empirical grounds existed for considering the continued use of the WLQ (with some suggested refinements) by the relevant company, provided the process of accumulating a body of validity evidence continued.

Contribution/value-add: This study identified some of the difficulties that assessment practitioners might face in their quest to comply with South Africa’s regulatory framework and the demands of contemporary test validity theory.


Keywords

Psychometrics; Quality of Work Life; Work Stress; Validity; Structural Equation Modelling; Bi-factor analysis; Exploratory Factor Analysis

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