Research output

Handling the reflective-formative measurement conundrum: A practical illustration based on sustainable employability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Associated researcher

Associated organisations


OBJECTIVE: Constructs capturing health or functioning can have reflective and/or formative measurement models. Although a construct's measurement model has extensive implications on the construction, validation and use of a measurement instrument, measurement models are frequently wrongly or not explicitly specified. As this is likely due to a lack of guidelines, this study uses sustainable employability as an example to demonstrate a) the applicability of an adapted checklist for establishing a construct's measurement model; and b) the use of structural equation modelling to handle formative constructs.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: First, the checklist is applied to sustainable employability to establish its measurement model. Second, using observational self-report data from 2,544 employees, structural equation models are estimated to evaluate the structural and criterion validity of sustainable employability as a formative construct.

RESULTS: The checklist demonstrates strong applicability, identifying sustainable employability as a formative construct. Model fit indices (CFIs > .932, TLIs > .925, RMSEAs < .034) suggest the formative measurement model for sustainable employability is valid.

CONCLUSION: The checklist and structural equation modelling facilitate handling formative constructs. By establishing sustainable employability as a formative construct, individuals' long term ability to function at work can be more adequately studied and intervened upon.

    Research areas

  • formative measurement model, reflective measurement model, sustainable employability, health, validation, complex constructs, Validation, Formative measurement model, Health, MEASUREMENT MODELS, CONSTRUCTS, WILCOX 2007, COSMIN CHECKLIST, MISSPECIFICATION, Sustainable employability, Complex constructs, CAUSAL INDICATORS, VARIABLES, Reflective measurement model, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, METHODOLOGICAL QUALITY, INSTRUMENTS


  • Full Text

    Final published version, 480 KB, PDF-document

View graph of relations


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Early online date11 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018