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The validation of the perceived wellness survey in the South African Police Service
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The era of globalisation calls for a flexible, multi-skilled, knowledgeable, inter-changeable and adaptable healthy workforce. Employee wellness is essential to ensure an effective and efficient workforce. It is important. however. to measure wellness before it can be developed. Currently there is a need for a measuring instrument in South Africa which can measure all the dimensions of wellness as conceptualised in the literature. However, it is risky to apply psychometric instruments developed in other cultures to the South African contest without validating it. The objective of this study were to validate the Perceived Wellness Survey (PWS) in the South African Police Service (SAPS) The specific objectives of the study. included to conceptualise perceived wellness and the dimensions thereof from the literature to access the internal consistency and construct validity of the PWS in a sample of police personnel and to investigate differences in the perceived wellness of biographical groups. A cross-sectional survey design with an accidental sample (N=840) of police personnel was used. The sample was composed of personnel from multiple divisions in the SAPS, including Functional as well as Public Service Act personnel. The Perceived Wellness Survey (PWS) and a biographical questionnaire were administered. Descriptive statistics, principal component analysis, target rotations, alpha coefficients and multivariate analysis of variance were used to analyse the data. Exploratory factor analysis with target rotations failed to confirm the construct equivalence or the PWS for Afrikaans and Setswana language groups. Two reliable factors. namely wellness and illness were extracted in a random sample (n = 335) of the Setswana group and in a replication sample (n=338) However. an alternative interpretation was also possible. Statistically significant differences were found between perceived wellness of employees in terms of age and rank. Recommendations for future research were made.