This study describes the final steps in the construction of a questionnaire to assess the vulnerability to develop homesickness. The psychometric properties of the Homesickness Vulnerability Questionnaire (HVQ) were assessed by comparing two samples: a random sample from the Dutch population (N=485) and a combined sample consisting of several groups of subjects that have been used in former studies on the HVQ (N=862). The discriminative power of the various subscales resulting from confirmatory factor analyses was tested by comparing the subscale-scores of subjects suffering from severe homesickness, depression but not homesickness and healthy controls for both samples separately. The subscales "Earlier homesickness experiences" and "Expression of emotions/seeking social support" appeared to discriminate best between these three groups in both populations and hence appear to be characteristic of homesickness. The rigidity subscale had additional differentiating power only in the combined sample. The reliability of all subscales in both populations was reasonable to good, as well as the test-retest stability as assessed in the population sample. It is concluded that the Homesickness Vulnerability Questionnaire seems to be an adequate instrument for differentiating between homesick, depressive and healthy control subjects. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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