Considering social variables influencing psychological well-being and protecting from development of mental disease, social support received great attention. In recent years the focus shifted toward more general constructs that can account for stability and coherence of the scheme that each person applies to relate to the social word as a whole. The construct of social connectedness seems to be closest to this aim. In this study, we present the validation of the Social Connectedness Scale – Revised (SCS-R) developed by Lee et al. on a sample of Italian general population.
We collected data from 197 subjects heterogeneous for gender and age. We then investigated the validity of the scale through an exploratory factor analysis and its reliability by calculating Cronbach’s Alpha. Differences in the mean scores of SCS-R due to gender, age and education were investigated. To test the criterion validity of the scale, we analyzed the correlations between the SCS-R and a multidimensional measure of resiliency and with some symptoms of psychological suffering. Finally, we analyzed the relations between SCS-R and a self-rated measure of perceived physical health.
The analyses confirmed the uni-dimensional factor structure of the scale and the good reliability of SCS-R on this sample of Italian population. No differences due to demographics emerged. The correlations between SCS-R and the six resiliency dimensions measured by the Resiliency Scale for Adults (RSA) were all positive and statistically significant (but with Structured Style), and the highest correlations emerged with the social and individual competence resiliency dimensions. In contrast, the correlations between SCS-R and the psychopathology dimensions were all negative and significant, and the highest correlation was with depression, confirming previous results. It is interesting to underline the positive correlation between SCS-R and participants’ satisfaction with their physical health.
The SCS-R confirmed good psychometrics in an Italian sample. Validity and reliability indexes were good. Investigating the criterion validity, we found evidence that confirms previous results about the protective role of social connectedness on psychopathology, and the negative correlations with depression, hostility and anxiety corroborated previous results. It should be underlined that the SCS-R correlated with a multidimensional measure of resiliency, and particularly with the resiliency dimensions that address personal and social competence dimensions in coping with negative events. Further studies are needed to clarify the relations of causality among these constructs.