The Affectometer 2: a measure of positive mental health in UK populations

  • Ruth Tennant
  • Stephen Joseph
  • Sarah Stewart-Brown
Original Paper



To validate Affectometer 2 for use in the UK, derive population norms and assess its potential for monitoring positive mental health.


722 adults aged 16–4 living in Scotland completed Affectometer 2 and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and provided data on socio-economic factors known to be associated with mental health status. Principal component analysis was used to explore the underlying structure of Affectometer 2. Internal reliability was tested using Cronbach’s alpha. Construct validity was tested by comparing associations between Affectometer 2 scores and socio-economic factors with expected performance from other surveys and with the GHQ.


89% of participants completed Affectometer 2 suggesting a high level of public acceptability. Both total scale and subscales showed a high level of internal consistency (0.944). Correlations between Affectometer 2 score and key socio-economic variables were consistent with the findings of other population mental health surveys. Correlation with the GHQ was moderate (0.60). Affectometer 2 did not show a ceiling effect in this general population sample. Principal component analysis provided some evidence consistent with a single underlying construct, although this needs further testing.


Affectometer 2 met accepted criteria for validity and reliability in this representative UK population and demonstrated potential for use in monitoring positive mental health. The results provide support for the development of a shortened version of the scale which would be advantageous for population surveys.


Mental health Validation study Population norms 



Permission to use the scale was granted by Dr. Ross Flett. Data was collected by BMRB International on behalf of the Health Education Board for Scotland. Thanks to those who gave of their time completing the scale.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Tennant
    • 1
  • Stephen Joseph
    • 2
  • Sarah Stewart-Brown
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Public Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of BirminghamEdgbaston, BirminghamUK
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Social PolicyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Warwick Medical SchoolUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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