Title

Validity Evidence for a Model and Measure of Life Balance

Start Time

22-10-2011 3:10 PM

End Time

22-10-2011 3:40 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Relevance for occupational science

Occupational science studies patterns of occupation; habits, routines, and lifestyle. There has never been a theoretical model or measure of occupational patterns for scientists to use as a baseline for research. This presentation describes a theoretical model and measure of life balance useful for future research in occupational science.

If life balance is a valid and unique construct, worthy of study, with potential implications for individuals, family and societal well-being, then the construct needs to be a clearly defined and conceptualized and there needs to be a way to measure it for additional research. The conceptualization of life balance used for this study originates from the lifestyle balance model (LBM) proposed by Matuska and Christiansen (2008). The model has some validity evidence when analyzed with women who have multiple sclerosis (Matuska & Erickson, 2009), women with stress-related disorders (Håkansson & Matuska, 2010), and with healthy working adults who also suggested financial security as a component to life balance (Wagman, Håkansson, Matuska, Björklund, &Torbjörn, in press).

I will describe a revised model of life balance and the construct validity evidence of both the revised model and a new measure of life balance, the Life Balance Inventory (LBI). Life balance is conceptualized as both congruence among desired and actual time spent in activities, and equivalence in the degree of discrepancy between desired and actual time spent across activities that meet health, relationship, challenge/interest and identity needs. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships between life balance, perceived stress, personal well-being, and need satisfaction. Four hundred and fifty eight participants representing mixed demographic groups participated in the study by completing 4 instruments. SEM results indicated that congruence, moderated by equivalence predicted lower stress, higher personal well-being and higher need satisfaction, but equivalence alone did not. Working, having children at home, and being non-white negatively moderated congruence and larger family size positively moderated congruence. This study provides initial construct validity evidence for the model and measure of life balance.

Discussion questions:

  1. How does the concept of life balance relate to other aspects of well-being or health?
  2. Is life balance achievable? Sustainable? Valuable?

References

Håkansson, C., & Matuska, K. (2010), How life balance is perceived by Swedish women recovering from a Stress-related Disorder: A Validation of the Life Balance Model. Journal of Occupational Science, 17,2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2010.9686682

Matuska, K., & Christiansen, C. (2008). A proposed model of lifestyle balance. Journal of Occupational Science, 15, 1, 9-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2008.9686602

Matuska, K., & Christiansen, C. (Eds). (2009). Life Balance: Multidisciplinary theories and research. Bethesda: AOTA Press and Slack, Inc.

Wagman, P., Håkansson, C., Matuska, K., Björklund, A. Torbjörn, F. (in press). The model of lifestyle balance on a working Swedish population. Journal of Occupational Science.

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Research paper

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Oct 22nd, 3:10 PM Oct 22nd, 3:40 PM

Validity Evidence for a Model and Measure of Life Balance

Relevance for occupational science

Occupational science studies patterns of occupation; habits, routines, and lifestyle. There has never been a theoretical model or measure of occupational patterns for scientists to use as a baseline for research. This presentation describes a theoretical model and measure of life balance useful for future research in occupational science.

If life balance is a valid and unique construct, worthy of study, with potential implications for individuals, family and societal well-being, then the construct needs to be a clearly defined and conceptualized and there needs to be a way to measure it for additional research. The conceptualization of life balance used for this study originates from the lifestyle balance model (LBM) proposed by Matuska and Christiansen (2008). The model has some validity evidence when analyzed with women who have multiple sclerosis (Matuska & Erickson, 2009), women with stress-related disorders (Håkansson & Matuska, 2010), and with healthy working adults who also suggested financial security as a component to life balance (Wagman, Håkansson, Matuska, Björklund, &Torbjörn, in press).

I will describe a revised model of life balance and the construct validity evidence of both the revised model and a new measure of life balance, the Life Balance Inventory (LBI). Life balance is conceptualized as both congruence among desired and actual time spent in activities, and equivalence in the degree of discrepancy between desired and actual time spent across activities that meet health, relationship, challenge/interest and identity needs. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships between life balance, perceived stress, personal well-being, and need satisfaction. Four hundred and fifty eight participants representing mixed demographic groups participated in the study by completing 4 instruments. SEM results indicated that congruence, moderated by equivalence predicted lower stress, higher personal well-being and higher need satisfaction, but equivalence alone did not. Working, having children at home, and being non-white negatively moderated congruence and larger family size positively moderated congruence. This study provides initial construct validity evidence for the model and measure of life balance.

Discussion questions:

  1. How does the concept of life balance relate to other aspects of well-being or health?
  2. Is life balance achievable? Sustainable? Valuable?