Development and psychometric testing of a Chinese-language instrument for assessing institutionalised older males' motivations for living


Correspondence: Yun-Fang Tsai, Professor and Chair, School of Nursing, Chang Gung University, 259, Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan 333, Taiwan. Telephone: +886 3 2118800 ext. 3204; 5958.



Aims and objectives

To develop and psychometrically test a Chinese-language instrument, the Motivations for Living Inventory, for use with older adult institutionalised males.


While tools exist for testing reasons for living among English-speaking individuals, none are available to assess Chinese-speaking older adults' motivation for living.


This study had three steps: cross-sectional survey to collect data on instrument items, instrument development and psychometric testing.


Participants were 247 older male residents of five veterans' homes, including 22 who had attempted suicide in the previous three months and 225 nonsuicide attempters. The Chinese-language instrument, Motivations for Living Inventory, was developed based on individual interviews with older male residents of nursing homes and veterans' homes, focus groups with workers at nursing and veterans' homes, the literature and the authors' clinical experiences. The resulting Inventory was examined by content validity, construct validity, criterion-related validity, internal consistency reliability and test–retest reliability.


The inventory had good content validity index (1·00). Factor analysis yielded a five-factor solution, accounting for 82·02% of the variance. Veterans' home male residents who had not attempted suicide tended to have higher scores than residents who had attempted suicide in the previous three months across the global inventory and all its subscales, indicating good criterion validity. Inventory reliability (Cronbach's α for the total scale was 0·86 and for subscales ranged from 0·80–0·94) and intraclass correlation coefficient (0·81) was satisfactory.


The Chinese-language Motivations for Living Inventory can be completed in five to seven minutes and is perceived as easy to complete. Moreover, the inventory yielded highly acceptable parameters of validity and reliability.

Relevance to clinical practice

The Chinese-language Motivations for Living Inventory can be used to assess reasons for living in Chinese-speaking, institutionalised older male adults.