Qual Quant (2014) 48:1027–1044
Investigating the Portrait Values Questionnaire at two
transitions in adulthood: Retirement and University
Andrew Burr · Jonathan Bruce Santo ·
Published online: 12 January 2013
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
Abstract In this study, two issues regarding the use of the Portrait Value Questionnaire
(PVQ; Schwartz et al.: J. Cross. Cult. Psychol. 32:519–542, 2001) with older adults were
addressed: (1) whether the quasi-circumplex structure of values, developed on younger adult
samples, also emerges among older adults; and (2) whether the PVQ demonstrates measure-
ment invariance across age groups and equivalence over time. The 40-item version of the
PVQ was completed by 433 retired adults and 173 university students in Montreal, Canada.
In both retired and student samples, the quasi-circumplex structure of values emerged using
exploratory techniques, but was not supported by constrained conﬁrmatory factor analyses.
A modiﬁed 26-item model was necessary to achieve adequate ﬁt indices in both samples,
suggesting problems of multi-collinearity and internal discriminant validity. However, using
the revised 26-item model of the values, support was found for most types of measurement
invariance across age groups and time. The PVQ should, therefore, be considered appro-
priate for use across the adult lifespan and in longitudinal research. Results are discussed
with regard to the Schwartz (In: Zanna M (ed) Advances in experimental social psychology.
New York: Academic Press, pp. 1–65, 1992) value theory and the conceptualizing of values
across the lifespan.
Keywords Values · Portrait Value Questionnaire · Measurement invariance ·
Measurement equivalence · Multi-group conﬁrmatory factor analysis
The Schwartz (1992) value theory postulates the existence of 10 universal values, deﬁned as
desirable, trans-situational goals serving as guiding principles, (benevolence, universalism,
A. Burr · J. B. Santo (
) · D. Pushkar
Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada