Investigating the cross-cultural relevance of the Strathclyde Inventory: A pilot study

  • Stephen, S. (Speaker)
  • Afnan Alhimaidi (Contributor)
  • Emmanuelle Zech (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Aim or purpose

The Strathclyde Inventory (SI) is a brief instrument designed to measure Rogers’ concept of the fully functioning person. Originally developed in English by a Brazilian woman living in Scotland, drawing on the mid-20th century work of a white American man, the SI has been translated into French and Arabic, with other translated versions in the pipeline.

In this pilot study we begin to explore the cross-cultural relevance of the SI, by comparing existing datasets collected using the three different language versions of the SI in Scotland (n = 216), Belgium (n = 175) and Saudi Arabia (n = 38). We aimed to identify differences in the functioning of individual SI items when we compared the data collected from each respondent group. We anticipated that we would find some differences and were interested in exploring the potential implications of these differences from our own cultural perspectives.

Design or methodology

We used Rasch modeling to compare our datasets. Rasch is a form of item response theory that transforms raw scores into standardised units of measurement (“logits”) and calculates “item difficulty” in relation to “person ability” on a unidimensional linear model. Specifically, we used Differential Item Functioning (DIF) pairwise to calculate the size and statistical significance of the DIF contrast for each SI item in each paired dataset: Saudi-Scottish; Saudi-Belgian; Scottish-Belgian.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval for this study was provided by the first author’s institution.

Results or findings

Our preliminary results identified eleven items with statistically significant DIF contrasts of 0.5 logit or more: two items (e.g., I have hidden some elements of myself behind a “mask”) indicated differences between the Belgian and Saudi Arabian datasets; five items (e.g., I have been able to be spontaneous) revealed differences between the Scottish dataset and the other two datasets; and five items (e.g., I have felt myself doing things that are out of character for me) identified differences between the Belgian dataset and the other two datasets.

Research limitations

The datasets were not collected for the purpose of this pilot study. Therefore we made inclusion/exclusion decisions to maximise sample size (Saudi Arabian dataset) and reliability (Belgian dataset). Further studies are required to test our findings.

Conclusions or implications / Considerations given to issues of equality, diversity and inclusion

By assuming that quantitative instruments have the same meaning in different cultures, we undermine equality, diversity and inclusion in counselling research, policy and practice. Instead, by embracing and exploring differences in meaning, we can develop our understanding of the cross-cultural relevance of the instruments that we use.
Period20 May 2022
Event title28th Annual BACP Research Conference: Striving for equality, diversity and inclusion in research, practice and policy
Event typeConference
LocationDundee, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Strathclyde Inventory
  • Cross-cultural
  • Rasch Analysis
  • Differential Item Functioning