Psychometric analysis and adaptation of the Social Distance Scale (DS) in a Chilean sample

Pamela Grandón Fernández, Félix Cova Solar, Sandra Saldivia Bórquez, Claudio Bustos Navarrete



Background. Stigma is one of the major impairments to social integration of people with mental disorders. The present research was aimed to study the psychometric properties and adapt the Link’s Social Distance Scale (SD) in a sample from Chile. This scale assessed the public attitudes toward people with mental disorders by means of a vignette, followed by a set of questions.

Method. A total of two samples by convenience were taken. The first sample consisted of 399 people and the second of 350. Reliability was assessed by means of the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. In order to validate its structure, an exploratory factor analysis of the first sample was conducted. Like waise, a confirmatory analysis was conducted with the second sample. Finally, the Pearson correlation coefficient was used to study the concurrent validity of the Orientation Scale to Social Dominance.

Results. Results indicate that the final instrument has two factors “proximity and social interaction,” composed by three items, and “intimacy and confidence,” composed by two. Despite the fact that the samples had different educational level, the adjustment indixes obtained from the confirmatory analyses, as well as the internal consistency of the instrument, were appropriate.

Discussion and conclusion. The existence of two factors can be related to the growth of the community mental health model in Chile. This has produced an impact on the amount of community centers and, therefore on the closeness on the subject. The results obtained support the possibility of using this instrument in different social groups.


Social stigma; mental disorders; validation studies