Assessing Mental Wellbeing Using the Mental Health Continuum—Short Form: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analytic Structural Equation Modelling

Matthew Iasiello, Joep van Agteren, Marijke Schotanus-Dijkstra, Laura Lo, Daniel B. Fassnacht, Gerben J. Westerhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Mental wellbeing is an increasingly relevant outcome in clinical psychology, and rigorous measurement tools are required to ensure high quality data. This study aimed to systematically review and meta-analyze the factor structure of a popular measurement tool of mental wellbeing, the Mental Health Continuum—Short Form (MHC-SF). The systematic review identified 46 studies which investigated the performance of the MHC-SF, which consistently supported the psychometric properties of the scale. Meta-analytic structural equation modelling (MASEM) was used with data extracted from 26 studies (n = 108,603). MASEM indicated support for the original tripartite structure of the MHC-SF, as well as a hierarchical model and a bifactor model. The hierarchical model (and the nested tripartite model) was supported theoretically and performed similarly across clinical and general populations. The current study demonstrates that the MHC-SF is a valid measure of general mental wellbeing, which taps into concepts of emotional, social, and psychological wellbeing in general and clinical populations. Caution may be required when comparing scores across clinical and non-clinical cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-456
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 21 Mar 2022


  • Assessment
  • Mental health
  • Mental health continuum—short form
  • Meta-analytic structural equation modelling
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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