Original Articles

Exploring the Validity of the Values-In-Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) in an African Context

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 18, issue 1, 2008 , pages: 133–142
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2008.10820180
Author(s): Itumeleng P. KhumaloNorth-West University, South Africa, Marie P. WissingNorth-West University, South Africa, Q. Michael TemaneNorth-West University, South Africa


This study explored the validity of the Values-In-Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) in an African context. A convenience sample of 256 African students completed the VIA-IS in English. The majority of strengths subscales had good reliability coefficients and mean scores comparable to those reported in a Western context. Satisfactory criterion-related validity was established through correlations with other well-being indices. First and second order confirmatory factor analyses only partly supported construct validity. All strengths subscales consisted of more than one factor. The hypothesised six-virtue cluster pattern was partially supported. Exploratory factor analysis suggested the possibility of an emic factor pattern of strengths consisting of 3 components: Within the first factor, Intrapersonal and Relationship Strengths, two clusters are distinguished, namely, Intrapersonal Strengths, and Horizontal and Vertical Relationship Strengths. The second factor was Integrity in Group Context. Thus, the VIA-IS has merit, but is not completely valid in its original form.

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