Test–retest reliability and validity of a single-item Self-reported Family Happiness Scale in Hong Kong Chinese: findings from Hong Kong Jockey Club FAMILY Project
Family happiness is one major theme of family well-being in Chinese culture. We investigated the reliability and validity of the single-item Self-reported Family Happiness Scale (SFHS-1) with the score of 0–10, based on two studies in Hong Kong Chinese.
Study 1 was a territory-wide population-based telephone survey (n = 4038) conducted in 2016. Study 2 was a community-based family intervention program conducted during 2012–2013 (n = 1261) to enhance family communication and well-being. Test–retest reliability of the SFHS-1 was assessed over 1 month in Study 2. Family APGAR (Adaption, Partnership, Growth, Affection, Resolve) Scale, Family Communication Scale, Subjective Happiness Scale, 12-item Short Form Health Survey Version 2, and 2-item Patient Health Questionnaire were used to assess the convergent and discriminant validities of the SFHS-1 in both studies. Multiple regression analysis was used to assess the incremental validity by identifying the additional contribution of the SFHS-1 score in predicting subjective happiness.
The 1-month test–retest reliability assessed by intraclass correlation was 0.76. Family happiness was moderately to strongly correlated with family function, family communication, subjective happiness, mental health-related quality of life and depression, but weakly correlated with physical health-related quality of life. Furthermore, the score of the SFHS-1 added predictive power to mental health-related quality of life and depression in assessing subjective happiness.
Our results have shown the SFHS-1 as a reliable and valid measurement of family happiness in Hong Kong Chinese, suggesting SFHS-1 is highly practicable for future large epidemiological and community-based intervention studies.
KeywordsFamily happiness Single-item scale Reliability Validity Quality of life
Adaption, Partnership, Growth, Affection, Resolve
Family Communication Scale
Family and Health Information Trends Survey
Health-related Quality of Life
Mental Component Subscale
Physical Component Subscale
2-Item Patient Health Questionnaire
12-Item Short Form Health Survey
Self-reported Family Happiness Scale
Subjective Happiness Scale
The project was funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The authors wish to thank the participants who participated in the telephone surveys and the Public Opinion Programme (HKU) officials for conducting the surveys.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have any potential competing interests to declare.
Ethical approval was granted by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong/Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster.
For Study 1, verbal informed consents were obtained from the respondents. For Study 2, written consent was obtained from each participant prior to participation in the programs. For children enrolled in the study, written consent was obtained from their next of kin, caretakers, or guardians on their behalf.
- 1.McDowell, I. (2010). Measures of self-perceived well-being. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 69(1), 69–79.Google Scholar
- 2.Subramanian, S. V., Kim, D., & Kawachi, I. (2005). Covariation in the socioeconomic determinants of self rated health and happiness: A multivariate multilevel analysis of individuals and communities in the USA. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 59(8), 664–669. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech.2004.025742.Google Scholar
- 3.Wang, F., Orpana, H. M., Morrison, H., de Groh, M., Dai, S., & Luo, W. (2012). Long-term association between leisure-time physical activity and changes in happiness: Analysis of the Prospective National Population Health Survey. American Journal of Epidemiology, 176(12), 1095–1100. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kws199.Google Scholar
- 4.Shiue, I. (2015). Self and environmental exposures to drinking, smoking, gambling or video game addiction are associated with adult hypertension, heart and cerebrovascular diseases, allergy, self-rated health and happiness: Japanese General Social Survey, 2010. International Journal of Cardiology, 181, 403–412. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.12.071.Google Scholar
- 6.McMahon, D. M. (2004). From the happiness of virtue to the virtue of happiness: 400 BC–AD 1780. Daedalus, 133(2), 5–17.Google Scholar
- 7.Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. S. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46(2), 137–155.Google Scholar
- 8.Nan, H., Ni, M. Y., Lee, P. H., Tam, W. W., Lam, T. H., Leung, G. M., et al. (2014). Psychometric evaluation of the Chinese version of the Subjective Happiness Scale: Evidence from the Hong Kong FAMILY Cohort. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 21(4), 646–652. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-014-9389-3.Google Scholar
- 10.Lu, L., Gilmour, R., & Kao, S.-F. (2001). Cultural values and happiness: An East-West dialogue. The Journal of Social Psychology, 141(4), 477–493.Google Scholar
- 11.Bond, M. H., & Hwang, K. (1986). The social psychology of Chinese people. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- 12.Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism & collectivism. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- 15.Odou, N., & Vella-Brodrick, D. A. (2013). The efficacy of positive psychology interventions to increase well-being and the role of mental imagery ability. Social Indicators Research, 110(1), 111–129.Google Scholar
- 16.Spoth, R., Redmond, C., Hockaday, C., & Shin, C. Y. (1996). Barriers to participation in family skills preventive interventions and their evaluations: A replication and extension. Family Relations, 45, 247–254.Google Scholar
- 17.Shek, D. T. (2002). Assessment of family functioning in Chinese adolescents: The Chinese family assessment instrument. International Perspectives on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 2, 297–316.Google Scholar
- 18.Moos, R. H., & Moos, B. S. (1994). Family environment scale manual. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
- 20.Ho, H. C., Mui, M., Wan, A., Ng, Y. L., Stewart, S. M., Yew, C., et al. (2016). Happy Family Kitchen II: A cluster randomized controlled trial of a community-based family intervention for enhancing family communication and well-being in Hong Kong. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 638. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00638.Google Scholar
- 21.Shen, C., Wan, A., Kwok, L. T., Pang, S., Wang, X., Stewart, S. M., et al. (2017). A community-based intervention program to enhance family communication and family well-being: The Learning Families Project in Hong Kong. Frontiers in Public Health, 5, 257. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00257.Google Scholar
- 24.Shen, C., Wang, M. P., Chu, J. T., Wan, A., Viswanath, K., Chan, S. S. C., et al. (2017). Sharing family life information through video calls and other information and communication technologies and the association with family well-being: Population-based survey. JMIR Mental Health, 4(4), e57. https://doi.org/10.2196/mental.8139.Google Scholar
- 25.Ziersch, A. M., & Baum, F. E. (2004). Involvement in civil society groups: Is it good for your health? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 58(6), 493–500.Google Scholar
- 26.Courser, M., & Lavrakas, P. J. (2012). Item nonresponse and the 10-point response scale in telephone surveys. Survey Practice, 5(4), 1–5.Google Scholar
- 27.Cummins, R. A., & Gullone, E. (2000). Why we should not use 5-point Likert scales: The case for subjective quality of life measurement. Proceedings, Second International Conference on Quality of Life in Cities, (pp. 74–93).Google Scholar
- 28.Smilkstein, G. (1978). The Family APGAR: A proposal for family function test and its use by physicians. The Journal of Family Practice. 6, 1231–1239Google Scholar
- 29.Bland, J. M., & Altman, D. G. (1997). Cronbach’s alpha. BMJ, 314(7080), 572.Google Scholar
- 30.Olson, D. H., Gorall, D. M., & Tiesel, J. W. (2004). “Family communication”. Faces IV package. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.Google Scholar
- 31.Ware, J. Jr., Kosinski, M., & Keller, S. D. (1996). A 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey: Construction of scales and preliminary tests of reliability and validity. Medical Care, 34(3), 220–233.Google Scholar
- 34.Chan, D., Ho, S., & Donnan, S. (1988). A survey of family APGAR in Shatin private ownership homes. Hong Kong Practitioner, 10, 3295–3299.Google Scholar
- 35.Lam, C. L., Tse, E. Y., & Gandek, B. (2005). Is the standard SF-12 health survey valid and equivalent for a Chinese population? Quality of Life Research, 14(2), 539–547.Google Scholar
- 37.Ho, H. C., Mui, M., Wan, A., Ng, Y. L., Stewart, S. M., Yew, C., et al. (2016). Happy Family Kitchen II: A cluster randomized controlled trial of a community-based positive psychology family intervention for subjective happiness and health-related quality of life in Hong Kong. Trials, 17, 367. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-016-1508-9.Google Scholar
- 38.Van Campen, C., & Iedema, J. (2007). Are persons with physical disabilities who participate in society healthier and happier? Structural equation modelling of objective participation and subjective well-being. Quality of Life Research, 16(4), 635–645. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-006-9147-3.Google Scholar
- 39.Ip, P.-K. (2014). Harmony as happiness? Social harmony in two Chinese societies. Social Indicators Research, 117(3), 719–741.Google Scholar
- 40.Preston, C. C., & Colman, A. M. (2000). Optimal number of response categories in rating scales: Reliability, validity, discriminating power, and respondent preferences. Acta Psychologica, 104(1), 1–15.Google Scholar
- 41.Chen, G.-M. (2002). The impact of harmony on Chinese conflict management. In G.-M. Chen, & R. Ma (Eds.), Chinese conflict management and resolution (pp. 3–17). Westport: Ablex publishing.Google Scholar
- 43.Ul-Haq, Z., Mackay, D. F., Martin, D., Smith, D. J., Gill, J. M., Nicholl, B. I., et al. (2014). Heaviness, health and happiness: A cross-sectional study of 163066 UK Biobank participants. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68(4), 340–348. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2013-203077.Google Scholar