The structure and properties of the sense of coherence scale

Soc Sci Med. 1993 Mar;36(6):725-33. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(93)90033-z.


Previous work of the author presents a salutogenic theoretical model designed to explain maintenance or improvement of location on a health ease/dis-ease continuum. The model's core construct, the Sense of Coherence (SOC), was consciously formulated in terms which are thought to be applicable crossculturally. The SOC scale which operationalizes the construct is a 29-item semantic differential questionnaire, its design guided by Guttman's facet theory. A 13-item version of the scale has also been used. The purpose of the present paper is to present the extant evidence from studies conducted in 20 countries for the feasibility, reliability and validity of the scale, as well as normative data. In 26 studies using SOC-29 the Cronbach alpha measure of internal consistency has ranged from 0.82 to 0.95. The alphas of 16 studies using SOC-13 range from 0.74 to 0.91. The relatively few test-retest correlations show considerable stability, e.g. 0.54 over a 2-year period among retirees. The systematic procedure used in scale construction and examination of the final product by many colleagues points to a high level of content, face and consensual validity. The few data sets available point to a high level of construct validity. Criterion validity is examined by presenting correlational data between the SOC and measures in four domains: a global orientation to oneself and one's environment (19 r's); stressors (11 r's); health, illness and wellbeing (32 r's); attitudes and behavior (5 r's). The great majority of correlations are statistically significant. All available published normative data on SOC-29 and SOC-13 are presented, data which bear upon validity using the known groups technique.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stress, Psychological*