BIFACTOR ANALYSIS OF THE MENTAL HEALTH CONTINUUM-SHORT FORM (MHC-SF)1

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Abstract

This report examined the factor structure of the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF) using bifactor analysis to evaluate a general well-being factor and the three group factors that correspond with emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Using a sample of 902 South African psychology students (M age = 21.1 yr., SD = 2.7), the MHC-SF was examined using confirmatory factor models, (1) a one-factor model conceptualizing well-being as unidimensional, (2) a correlated three-factor model corresponding with Keyes' model, and (3) a bifactor solution with a general well-being factor and three orthogonalized group factors. The bifactor solution fitted the best and evidenced a strong general well-being factor and three comparatively weak residualized group factors. These findings contribute to the literature by facilitating an examination of the strength of a general well-being factor as contrasted with the multidimensional components of emotional, social, and psychological well-being and advance a case for the interpretation of both the general and multidimensional components. The results inform considerations regarding the employ of the scale in statistical procedures such as multiple regression analysis and structural equation modeling.

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