Benefit finding, defined as perceiving positive life changes resulting from adversity and negative life stressors, gains growing attention in the context of chronic illness. The study aimed at examining the psychometric properties of the Benefit Finding Scale for Children (BFSC) in a sample of German youth facing chronic conditions.
A sample of adolescents with various chronic conditions (N = 304; 12 – 21years) completed the 10-item BFSC along with measures of intra- and interpersonal resources, coping strategies, and health-related quality of life (hrQoL). The total sample was randomly divided into two subsamples for conducting exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses (EFA/CFA).
EFA revealed that the BFSC scores had a one-dimensional factor structure. CFA verified the one-dimensional factor structure with an acceptable fit. The BFSC exhibited acceptable internal consistency (α = 0.87 – 0.88) and construct validity. In line with our hypotheses, benefit finding was positively correlated with optimism, self-esteem, self-efficacy, sense of coherence, and support seeking. There were no correlations with avoidance, wishful thinking, emotional reaction, and hrQoL. Sex differences in benefit finding were not consistent across subsamples. Benefit finding was also positively associated with age, disease severity, and social status.
The BFSC is a psychometrically sound instrument to assess benefit finding in adolescents with chronic illness and may facilitate further research on positive adaptation processes in adolescents, irrespective of their specific diagnosis.