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.
- Mental wellbeing
- clinical psychology
- measurement tool
- Meta-analytic structural equation modelling
- Mental health
- Mental health continuum—short form