Cross-cultural measurement of social withdrawal motivations across 10 countries using multiple-group factor analysis alignment

Julie C. Bowker*, Stefania Sette, Laura L. Ooi, Sevgi Bayram-Ozdemir, Nora Braathu, Evalill Bølstad, Karen Noel Castillo, Aysun Dogan, Carolina Greco, Shanmukh Kamble, Hyoun K. Kim, Yunhee Kim, Junsheng Liu, Wonjung Oh, Ronald M. Rapee, Quincy J. J. Wong, Bowen Xiao, Antonio Zuffianò, Robert J. Coplan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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The goal of this study was to evaluate the measurement invariance of an adapted assessment of motivations for social withdrawal (Social Preference Scale–Revised; SPS-R) across cultural contexts and explore associations with loneliness. Participants were a large sample of university students (N = 4,397; Mage = 20.08 years, SD = 2.96; 66% females) from 10 countries (Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, South Korea, Norway, Turkey, and the United States). With this cross-cultural focus, we illustrate the multiple-group factor analysis alignment method, an approach developed to assess measurement invariance when there are several groups. Results indicated approximate measurement invariance across the 10 country groups. Additional analyses indicated that overall, shyness, avoidance, and unsociability are three related, but distinct factors, with some notable country differences evident (e.g., in China, India, and Turkey). Shyness and avoidance were related positively to loneliness in all countries, but the strength of the association between shyness and loneliness differed in Italy and India relative to the other countries. Results also indicated that unsociability was related positively to loneliness in the United States only. Theoretical and assessment implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number2
Early online date3 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Social Preference Scale-R
  • multiple-group factor analysis alignment
  • social withdrawal motivations
  • loneliness
  • culture
  • university students


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