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Evaluating the interpersonal theory of suicide and measurement invariance of the Interpersonal needs questionnaire in Australian and Chinese cultures
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 19:28 authored by Catie Chun Wan Lai
The interpersonal theory of suicide is one of the most influential frameworks used to understand suicide. In order to examine the interpersonal theory in Chinese cultures, there is a need to develop and psychometrically evaluate a Chinese version of the Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire (INQ). This dissertation conducted two studies. Study 1 aimed to translate the INQ into Chinese and examined its factorial structure and psychometric properties. A sample of 854 Chinese undergraduates was randomly split into two samples for performing exploratory factor analyses and confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) to test the measurement models of the Chinese INQ. Structural equation models (SEMs) were performed to test the convergent, divergent and concurrent validity of the Chinese INQ. Results indicate that the 14-item Chinese INQ retained from the factor analyses reliably measured the two constructs with adequate internal consistency. Both constructs exhibited convergent associations (i.e., burdensomeness with self-esteem and belongingness with loneliness and social support) for the 10-item, 14-item, and 15-item Chinese INQ. Burdensomeness demonstrated concurrent associations with suicidal ideation for the 14-item,and 15-item Chinese INQ. These findings support the use of the 14-item and 15-item Chinese INQ in future research. Study 2 aimed to establish measurement invariance for the INQ across two cultures and examine cross-cultural generalizability of the interpersonal theory. Using the undergraduate samples from Hong Kong (n = 427) and Australia (n = 469), a series of multigroup CFAs were conducted to examine measurement invariance. Multigroup SEMs and Wald tests were performed to compare the associations of the interpersonal factors with suicide ideation across cultures. Study 2 established measurement invariance for the 15-item and 14-item INQ and provided support for the cross-cultural equivalence for the associations of the interpersonal factors with suicide ideation across Australian and Chinese cultures. Although cultural differences were found in the predictive effect of the two-way interaction between the interpersonal factors on suicidal ideation, the findings generally support the generalizability of the interpersonal theory across Western and Chinese cultures.