Cross-national measurement invariance of the Purpose in Life Test in seven Latin American countries

Tomás Caycho-Rodríguez, Lindsey W. Vilca, Mauricio Cervigni, Miguel Gallegos, Pablo Martino, Manuel Calandra, Cesar Armando Rey Anacona, Claudio López-Calle, Rodrigo Moreta-Herrera, Edgardo René Chacón-Andrade, Marlon Elías Lobos-Rivera, Perla del Carpio, Yazmín Quintero, Erika Robles, Macerlo Panza Lombardo, Olivia Gamarra Recalde, Andrés Buschiazzo Figares, Michael White, Carmen Burgos-Videla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Purpose in Life Test (PIL) is a measure of purpose in life widely used in many cultures and countries; however, cross-cultural assessments are scarce. The present study aimed to evaluate the cross-cultural measurement invariance of the PIL in the general population of seven Latin American countries (Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay). A total of 4306 people participated, selected by non-probabilistic convenience sampling, where Uruguay has the highest mean age (M = 41.8; SD = 16.6 years); while Ecuador has the lowest mean age (M = 24.6; SD = 7.8 years). Furthermore, in each country, there is a higher proportion of women (>60%) than men (<40%). Using Multi-Group Confirmatory Factor Analysis, the factorial structure does not show evidence of invariance among the included countries. However, based on the Multi-Group Factor Analysis Alignment, there is evidence that a three-dimensional structure of the PIL (Meaning of existence, Freedom to make meaning in daily life and Will to find meaning in the face of future challenges) is the same in the participating countries. Results based on item response theory indicate that most PIL items can significantly differentiate responses according to the level of life purpose. In addition, people with low life purpose will tend to choose the lower response alternatives on the PIL; while people with higher life purpose will choose higher response alternatives. The findings indicate that the PIL has the potential to increase knowledge about how people conceive and experience their purpose in life in different countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number974133
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 16 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Analysis Alignment
  • Latin American
  • cross-cultural
  • measurement invariance
  • purpose in life


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