Grit Across Nations: The Cross‑National Equivalence of the Grit‑O Scale

Llwellyn E van Zyl, Babet Heijenk, Jeff Klibert, Rebecca Shankland, Nicolas B Verger, Sebastiaan Rothmann, Wing Sing Cho, Yue Feng, Eric See-To, Lara C. Roll, Leander van der Meij

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Despite its popularity in practice, the Grit-O Scale has shown inconsistent factorial structures and difering levels of internal consistency in samples outside the USA. The validity
of the Grit-O Scale in diferent contexts is, therefore, questionable. As such, the purpose of
this paper was to determine whether the Grit-O Scale could be used as a valid and reliable
measure to compare grit across diferent nations. Specifcally, the aim was to investigate the
factorial validity, reliability, and concurrent validity of the Grit-O Scale and to investigate
measurement invariance across three national cohorts (Europe, the USA, and Hong Kong).
Data were gathered from 1888 respondents stemming from one USA- (n=471), two Hong
Kong- (n=361) and four European (n=1056) universities. A series of traditional CFA
and less restrictive ESEM models were estimated and systematically compared to determine the best factorial form of the Grit-O Scale. The results showed that a bifactor ESEM
model, with one general factor of overall grit and two specifc factors (consistency of interest and perseverance of efort), ftted the data best, showed strong measurement invariance
across the three samples, and showed itself to be a reliable measure. Furthermore, concurrent validity was established by showing that the three grit factors were directly and positively related to task performance. Meaningful latent comparisons between the three cultural cohorts could therefore be made. The results imply that cross-national comparisons of
grit may only be problematic when traditional CFA approaches are favoured. In contrast,
ESEM modelling approaches may compensate for cross-national diferences in understanding grit and control for diferences in the interpretation of the scale’s items. Therefore, the
bifactor ESEM approach may be more appropriate for cross-cultural and cross-national
comparison studies, as it allows for these diferences to be meaningfully captured, modelled, and controlled for.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3179-3213
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2022


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