Journal of Well-Being Assessment

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 57–73 | Cite as

Psychometric Properties of the Mental Health Continuum – Short Form in a Psychiatric Sample

  • Alexandra L. SilvermanEmail author
  • Marie Forgeard
  • Courtney Beard
  • Thröstur Björgvinsson
Original Research


The Mental Health Continuum – Short Form (MHC-SF) is a well-established measure that assesses general well-being and three well-being components: emotional, social, and psychological. However, its psychometric properties have never been investigated in a psychiatric sample. We examined the psychometric properties of the MHC-SF, including factor structure, convergent validity, and sensitivity to change, in 768 patients attending a psychiatric partial hospital program. Patients completed the MHC-SF as well as self-report measures of depression, and motivation and pleasure at admission and discharge from the program. Results revealed that a Bifactor Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling (ESEM) model better fit the data than competing models (Confirmatory Factor Analysis, ESEM, and Bifactor models). This model supported the existence of a general well-being factor, but provided limited evidence for the existence of emotional, social, or psychological well-being factors. The MHC-SF negatively correlated with a measure of depression and positively correlated with a measure of motivation and pleasure, suggesting good convergent validity. General well-being increased significantly from pre- to post-treatment. Results support the use of the MHC-SF to reliably measure general well-being in a psychiatric sample.


Well-being Mental health Psychopathology Bifactor ESEM 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra L. Silverman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marie Forgeard
    • 1
    • 2
  • Courtney Beard
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thröstur Björgvinsson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Behavioral Health Partial ProgramMcLean HospitalBelmontUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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