Multidimensional properties of the access to categories of experience scale
This paper tests the factor structure and construct validity of the Access to Categories of Experience scale (ACE; Evans, 1986), which has been widely used to measure the five latent benefits of employment proposed by Jahoda (1981). The ACE and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ; Goldberg, 1972) were administered to 425 unemployed individuals. This original sample was randomly split into two sub-samples. Exploratory factor analyses conducted on the first sub-sample demonstrated four rather than the five separate factors for the ACE scale, which has been asserted by its development and its previous use. The scale was dominated by one major factor of Activity. Confirmatory factor analysis conducted on the second sub-sample demonstrated a better fit for the four factors rather than the five. Construct validity was established for the ACE scale. When the identified ACE factors were correlated with the GHQ, higher levels of access to the latent benefits was associated with lower levels of psychological distress, although this result was not identified for all factors. The implications of this finding for the Latent Deprivation model (Jahoda, 1981) are discussed, and recommendations are made in relation to the use of the ACE scale in this area of research.
European Journal of Psychological Assessment
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