Journal of Well-Being Assessment

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 1–19 | Cite as

The Structural Validity and Measurement Invariance of the Mental Health Continuum – Short Form (MHC-SF) in a Large Canadian Sample

  • Paige Lamborn
  • Kenneth M. CramerEmail author
  • Amber Riberdy
Original Research


The Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF; Keyes 2005a) is a 14-item questionnaire designed to measure three components of positive mental health: emotional well-being (EWB), social well-being (SWB), and psychological well-being (PWB). Previous studies have proposed various models of mental health using the MHC-SF: a single-factor model, a correlated two-factor model, a correlated three-factor model (EWB, SWB, and PWB), and a bifactor model with three specific dimensions and a general factor, as well as the use of Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling (ESEM) to examine model structure. The present study assessed the suitability of multiple models using confirmatory factor analysis and ESEM in a large Canadian sample (N = 43,020), taken from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS; Statistics Canada 2012a). The bifactor ESEM model had the best fit. Measurement invariance testing revealed that the bifactor ESEM model showed strict invariance across gender and ethnic minority status, and weak invariance across four age groupings.


Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) Positive mental health Structural equation modeling Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF) 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest. For this type of study formal consent is not required. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

41543_2018_7_MOESM1_ESM.docx (51 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 50 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paige Lamborn
    • 1
  • Kenneth M. Cramer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amber Riberdy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

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