Psychometric Evaluation of the Adolescent Health Promotion Scale in Chile: Differences by Socioeconomic Status and Gender

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Background:The promotion of healthy behaviors is a relevant issue worldwide, especially among adolescent populations, as this is the developmental stage where most unhealthy behaviors become ingrained.Purpose:The aim of this study was to analyze the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the Adolescent Health Promotion Scale (AHPS) in a Chilean sample of early adolescents.Methods:The sample was composed of 1,156 adolescents aged 10–14 years from schools in San Felipe, Chile. Item structure was assessed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses; reliability was measured using Cronbach’s alpha; and differences in terms of gender, age, and socioeconomic status (SES) were established using analysis of variance.Results:The analyses of item structure identified all of the six original factors (nutrition behaviors, health responsibility, social support, life appreciation, stress management and exercise behavior) as significant. However, eight items did not fit the Chilean population well. Therefore, the AHPS in Chile has been reduced to 32 items. The Cronbach’s alpha of the 32-item Chilean AHPS was .95, with the subscale coefficients ranging from .76 to .94. In addition, female subjects performed better than male subjects, and individuals of higher SES scored higher than the middle and lower socioeconomic groups. No differences on AHPS scores were found in different age groups.Conclusions:The AHPS appears to have good psychometric properties in terms of item structure and reliability. Consistent with studies carried out in other countries, health promotion behavioral differences were observed in association with gender and SES. The results support the Chilean version of the AHPS as an appropriate instrument for measuring the health promotion behaviors of early adolescents in Chile and for comparing results with those from other countries.

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