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instrument development, older adults, relocation, self-efficacy



  1. Rossen, Eileen K.
  2. Gruber, Kenneth J.


Background: With greater numbers of older adults relocating to independent living communities (ILCs), there is an increasing need to determine whether factors such as self-efficacy can facilitate relocation adjustment. However, no relocation self-efficacy instrument is available.


Objectives: To develop and test an instrument measuring older adults' self-efficacy to relocate to an ILC.


Method: A 101-item initial instrument representing facets of relocation self-efficacy was developed based on the literature on self-efficacy and relocation and on qualitative interviews with a sample of women who had relocated to ILCs. The instrument was content validated by a panel of experts, reduced to 65 items, and then evaluated by a convenience sample of 166 community-dwelling older adults who planned to move to an ILC. The sample ranged in age from 65 to 91 years (M = 76.59 years, SD = 6.02 years); most were female (63%), Caucasian (96%), college educated (59%), and married (62%). Assessment of the scale included calculation of internal consistency reliability, test-retest reliability, item and scale correlation coefficients, and principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation to evaluate construct validity, scale structure, and item response range. In addition, convergent validity of the Self-Efficacy Relocation Scale (SERS) was evaluated by assessing correlations with measures of positive relationships (Positive Relations With Others Scale) and environmental mastery (Environmental Mastery Scale).


Results: The final SERS consists of 32 items in three factors: Engagement Efficacy, Daily Living Efficacy, and Transition Management Efficacy. These three factors explained 68% of the sample variance. Cronbach's [alpha] for the total scale was .97; [alpha] for the three factors was .96, .96, and .91, respectively. As anticipated, convergent validity was supported by moderate positive correlations between the three SERS factors and the Positive Relations With Others Scale and Environmental Mastery Scale.


Discussion: Identifying older adults at risk for difficulty in adjusting to relocation prior to moving to an ILC by using a measure of relocation self-efficacy has important implications for their health and life satisfaction. This study suggests that the SERS may be useful in identifying such individuals and alerting healthcare professionals to initiate early interventions to facilitate positive relocation adjustment. Further testing of the SERS with heterogeneous socioeconomic, marital, ethnic, and racial samples is needed.