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Several studies have found that perceived social support plays a crucial role in the psychological and physical wellbeing of young people. A number of instruments measuring perceived social support have been developed and validated, including the Perceived Social Support from Family and Friends subscales. The psychometric properties of the Perceived Social Support from Family and Friends subscales have been demonstrated in a range of samples, although not in Ghana. The purpose of this study is to investigate the psychometric properties of the Perceived Social Support from Family and Friends subscales in Ghanaian adolescents using data from a school-based survey (N = 770; 14–21 years). Participants completed a self-report questionnaire containing the Perceived Social Support from Family and Friends subscales, the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire, and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. An exploratory factor analysis in addition to simultaneous confirmatory factor analyses with structural equation modelling were performed to evaluate the factor structure and factorial validity of the subscales along with Cronbach’s α and intercorrelations. Three factors and two factors were extracted for the Friends and Family subscales respectively. While the unidimensional model of the friends subscale had a better fit with the data than the three-factor model, the two-factor model of the family subscale had a better fit than the unidimensional model, even though the unidimensional models of both subscales produced higher internal consistency coefficients. With respect to construct validity, the family subscale demonstrated some evidence of convergent and discriminant validity, but the friends subscale demonstrated some evidence of only discriminant validity, in terms of the association between social support and common mental illness and perceived stress. It appears that the Perceived Social Support subscales are useful instruments for assessing social support from family and friends and could therefore be used to further our understanding about the role of social support in stressful life events and psychological functioning of Ghanaian adolescents, although further research is required for the friends subscale.
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- Psychometric Properties of the Perceived Social Support from Family and Friends Scale: Data from an Adolescent Sample in Ghana
Franklin N. Glozah
David J. Pevalin
- Springer US