The psychometric properties of scales measuring perceived social support in a Setswana-speaking group
Moroeng, Motlalepule Christina
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The current study is part of a greater project: "The role of psychosocial factors in the physical well-being of Black South Africans in the North West Province during a phase of transition" (Wissing, 1998) which falls under the multidisciplinary THUSA-project (Vorster, 1997; Vorster et al. 2000). (THUSA=Transition and Health during Urbanization of South Africans). As there were no scales available to measure social support in the Setswana-speaking group, this study was undertaken to determine the applicability of the Perceived Social Support Scale (PSS) of Procidano and Heller (1983) in the Setswana-speaking group. The PSS consists of two sub-scales, i.e. Perceived Social Support from Friends (PSS:FR) and Perceived Social Support from Family (PSS:F A) . The PSS provides reliable and valid measures of perceived support from friends and from family in Western population groups. It could not, however, be assumed to be a reliable and valid measure in another, completely different population, as indicated by Pounonen and Ashton (1998). In an empirical study the PSS was cultural-sensitively adapted with use of a committee approach, translated into Setswana with use of the back-translation method, and evaluated in an empirical study. Participants (N=738) from various demographic strata completed the questionnaires during several field studies with the aid of field workers. Psychometric properties such as reliability, means, standard deviations, range of scores, factor structure and pattern of correlations were established for the PSS. The present Setswana versions of the PSS:FR and PSS:FA were found to be highly reliable and valid for use in the target group.
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