Objective: To simultaneously investigate the psychometric properties of three recently developed health literacy measurement scales throughout adolescence in the general population.
Methods: French versions of the Health Literacy for School-Aged Children (HLSAC, unidimensional) scale, the Health Literacy Assessment Scale for Adolescents (HAS-A, multidimensional) and the 16-item European Health Literacy Survey questionnaire (HLS-EU-Q16, unidimensional) were completed by 1 444 adolescents in 8th, 9th, 11th grade in general school and 11-12th grade in vocational school. Psychometric properties were studied using confirmatory factor analysis, McDonald's omega coefficient and hypothesis testing.
Results: Structural validity was acceptable (HLS-EU-Q16) to good (HAS-A and HLSAC), no measurement invariance issue was found and internal consistency was acceptable for the three scales (0.68-0.84). Convergent validity was low (Pearson correlation coefficients<0.5) and the only scale for which results were in agreement with a priori hypotheses was the HLSAC.
Conclusions: Our results were supportive of the use of HLSAC to assess health literacy during adolescence but the HAS-A, with a slightly better structural validity, can also be promoted due to its three measured dimensions.
Practice implications: The use of these scales in practice will help to focus on health literacy, a critical factor for prevention and health promotion in adolescence.
Keywords: Adolescence; HAS-A; HLS-EU-Q16; HLSAC; Health literacy; Psychometric properties.
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