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

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 11
  • SDG 3
  • 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.