Structural Validity and Measurement Invariance of the Pearlin Mastery Scale in Spanish-Speaking Primary Care Patients

Eval Health Prof. 2018 Sep;41(3):393-399. doi: 10.1177/0163278718774942. Epub 2018 May 13.


The Pearlin Mastery (PM) Scale is frequently used in health research to assess individuals' personal mastery or the extent to which they believe they are in control of their own lives. It has been adapted from English into multiple languages including Spanish. However, no studies have assessed the psychometric properties of Spanish translations of the scale. This analysis evaluated structural validity and measurement invariance of the original Spanish translation of the PM Scale in two groups of Spanish-speaking individuals receiving primary care at community clinics in Florida. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) indicated that the 5-item version used in the literature yields a unidimensional factor structure as expected; however, multiple-group CFA revealed that the PM Scale items did not load equivalently on the factor across samples. This indicates that the Spanish version of the PM Scale may not measure mastery consistently across groups, possibly due to differences in respondents' semantic understanding of items or differences in the meaning of the construct itself. Findings suggest that researchers seeking to measure personal mastery in Spanish-speaking participants from diverse cultural backgrounds should consider alternative approaches including the development of new instruments.

Keywords: Latino/a; coping resources; personal mastery; psychometrics; validation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*