Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS): measurement invariance across genders and item response theory examination

Marmara, Joshua, Zarate, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0002-1508-8637, Vassallo, Jeremy ORCID: 0000-0002-9227-1638, Patten, Rhiannon ORCID: 0000-0002-1655-1849 and Stavropoulos, Vasileios ORCID: 0000-0001-6964-4662 (2022) Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS): measurement invariance across genders and item response theory examination. BMC Psychology, 10. ISSN 2050-7283


Background: The Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS) is a measure of subjective well-being and assesses eudemonic and hedonic aspects of well-being. However, differential scoring of the WEMWBS across gender and its precision of measurement has not been examined. The present study assesses the psychometric properties of the WEMWBS using measurement invariance (MI) between males and females and item response theory (IRT) analyses. Method: A community sample of 386 adults from the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada were assessed online (N = 394, 54.8% men, 43.1% women, Mage = 27.48, SD = 5.57). Results: MI analyses observed invariance across males and females at the configural level and metric level but non-invariance at the scalar level. The graded response model (GRM) conducted to observe item properties indicated that all items demonstrated, although variable, sufficient discrimination capacity. Conclusions: Gender comparisons based on WEMWBS scores should be cautiously interpreted for specific items that demonstrate different scalar scales and similar scores indicate different severity. The items showed increased reliability for latent levels of ∓ 2 SD from the mean level of SWB. The WEMWBS may also not perform well for clinically low and high levels of SWB. Including assessments for clinical cases may optimise the use of the WEMWBS.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/43479
DOI 10.1186/s40359-022-00720-z
Official URL https://bmcpsychology.biomedcentral.com/articles/1...
Funders https://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DE210101107
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology
Current > Division/Research > College of Health and Biomedicine
Keywords subjective well-being, measurement invariance, item response theory, psychometric properties, positive psychology, gender
Citations in Scopus 6 - View on Scopus
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