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      Validation of the Flourishing Scale in a sample of people with suboptimal levels of mental well-being


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          There is growing interest in measuring the eudaimonic perspective of mental well-being (social and psychological well-being) alongside existing measures of the hedonic perspective of mental well-being (subjective well-being). The Flourishing Scale (FS) assesses core aspects of social-psychological functioning and is now widely used in research in practice. However, the reliability and validity of eudaimonic measures such as the FS has not yet been tested in people with low or moderate levels of well-being. This group is at risk for developing mental disorders and, therefore, an important target group for public mental health.


          We extensively evaluated the psychometric properties of the 8-item FS in a sample of adults with low or moderate levels of well-being in The Netherlands ( N = 275) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), item response theory analysis and a multitrait matrix.


          The unidimensional structure of the scale was confirmed with CFA and an adequate fit to the Rasch model. However, our sample showed positive skewness of the scale, but lacked measurement precision at the higher end of the social-psychological continuum. In general, the multitrait matrix demonstrated the convergent validity of the scale, with strong to weak correlations between the FS and (1) overall well-being, (2) social and psychological well-being (3) positive eudaimonic states, (4) hedonic states, (5) psychopathology and (6) personality traits. Nevertheless, relatively low correlations were found, specifically in comparison with the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF).


          The FS seems a reliable and valid instrument for measuring social-psychological functioning in adults with suboptimal well-being, but its use in intervention studies and clinical practice might be debatable. Therefore, the FS seems most suitable to include in epidemiological studies alongside existing hedonic measures to more fully capture mental well-being. Future research should examine the temporal stability of the FS and the consequences of the positive skewness and limited external validity of the scale found in the current study.

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          Most cited references29

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          Mental Illness and/or Mental Health? Investigating Axioms of the Complete State Model of Health.

          A continuous assessment and a categorical diagnosis of the presence (i.e., flourishing) and the absence (i.e., languishing) of mental health were proposed and applied to the Midlife in the United States study data, a nationally representative sample of adults between the ages of 25 and 74 years (N = 3,032). Confirmatory factor analyses supported the hypothesis that measures of mental health (i.e., emotional, psychological, and social well-being) and mental illness (i.e., major depressive episode, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and alcohol dependence) constitute separate correlated unipolar dimensions. The categorical diagnosis yielded an estimate of 18.0% flourishing and, when cross-tabulated with the mental disorders, an estimate of 16.6% with complete mental health. Completely mentally healthy adults reported the fewest health limitations of activities of daily living, the fewest missed days of work, the fewest half-day work cutbacks, and the healthiest psychosocial functioning (low helplessness, clear life goals, high resilience, and high intimacy). (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved.
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            Construction and factorial validation of a short form of the Self-Compassion Scale.

            The objective of the present study was to construct and validate a short-form version of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). Two Dutch samples were used to construct and cross-validate the factorial structure of a 12-item Self-Compassion Scale-Short Form (SCS-SF). The SCS-SF was then validated in a third, English sample. The SCS-SF demonstrated adequate internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha ≥ 0.86 in all samples) and a near-perfect correlation with the long form SCS (r ≥ 0.97 all samples). Confirmatory factor analysis on the SCS-SF supported the same six-factor structure as found in the long form, as well as a single higher-order factor of self-compassion. The SCS-SF thus represents a reliable and valid alternative to the long-form SCS, especially when looking at overall self-compassion scores. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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              Evaluating the psychometric properties of the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF).

              There is a growing consensus that mental health is not merely the absence of mental illness, but it also includes the presence of positive feelings (emotional well-being) and positive functioning in individual life (psychological well-being) and community life (social well-being). We examined the structure, reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity of the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF), a new self-report questionnaire for positive mental health assessment. We expected that the MHC-SF is reliable and valid, and that mental health and mental illness are 2 related but distinct continua. This article draws on data of the LISS panel of CentERdata, a representative panel for Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (N = 1,662). Results revealed high internal and moderate test-retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) confirmed the 3-factor structure in emotional, psychological, and social well-being. These subscales correlated well with corresponding aspects of well-being and functioning, showing convergent validity. CFA supported the hypothesis of 2 separate yet related factors for mental health and mental illness, showing discriminant validity. Although related to mental illness, positive mental health is a distinct indicator of mental well-being that is reliably assessed with the MHC-SF. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

                Author and article information

                m.schotanus@utwente.nl , mdijkstra@trimbos.nl
                BMC Psychol
                BMC Psychol
                BMC Psychology
                BioMed Central (London )
                17 March 2016
                17 March 2016
                : 4
                [ ]Trimbos Institute, Department of Public Mental Health, P.O. Box 725, 3500 AS Utrecht, The Netherlands
                [ ]Centre for eHealth and Well-being Research, Department of Psychology, Health and Technology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
                © Schotanus-Dijkstra et al. 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2016

                mental well-being,social-psychological functioning,eudaimonic well-being,psychometric properties,confirmatory factor analysis,item response theory


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