Factor Structure of Mental Health Measures for Older Adults

Alex J. Zautra, Charles A. Guarnaccia, John W. Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This article examines the factor structure of mental health self-reports among 246 older adults, ages 60 to 80 years, who were either recently physically disabled (n = 62), recently bereaved (n = 61), or matched control subjects (n = 123). Confirmatory factor analyses were carried out on the Mental Health Inventory and the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview (PERI) Demoralization Composite to test whether factor structures obtained in previous studies would fit the data for this older adult sample and whether those structures would be equivalent among groups that differ in degree of life stress. The structure of these two inventories was reorganized as a result of these analyses, resulting in 9 subscales that varied somewhat from the original subscale structure. The Bradburn Positive Affect Scale was added, and a second order confirmatory factor analysis was performed on these 10 scales. Two highly correlated superordinate factors emerged: Psychological Distress and Psychological Well-Being. Although the factor structure was generally similar across groups, there were some notable exceptions that could be attributed to between-groups differences in exposure to life stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-519
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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