Assessing psychological well-being: self-report instruments for the NIH Toolbox
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Psychological well-being (PWB) has a significant relationship with physical and mental health. As a part of the NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function, we developed self-report item banks and short forms to assess PWB.
Study design and setting
Expert feedback and literature review informed the selection of PWB concepts and the development of item pools for positive affect, life satisfaction, and meaning and purpose. Items were tested with a community-dwelling US Internet panel sample of adults aged 18 and above (N = 552). Classical and item response theory (IRT) approaches were used to evaluate unidimensionality, fit of items to the overall measure, and calibrations of those items, including differential item function (DIF).
IRT-calibrated item banks were produced for positive affect (34 items), life satisfaction (16 items), and meaning and purpose (18 items). Their psychometric properties were supported based on the results of factor analysis, fit statistics, and DIF evaluation. All banks measured the concepts precisely (reliability ≥0.90) for more than 98 % of participants.
These adult scales and item banks for PWB provide the flexibility, efficiency, and precision necessary to promote future epidemiological, observational, and intervention research on the relationship of PWB with physical and mental health.
KeywordsPsychological assessment Well-being Positive affect Life satisfaction Meaning
This project was funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the Blueprint for Neuroscience Research and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHS-N-260-2006-00007-C. Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by NIH grants KL2RR025740 from the National Center for Research Resources and 5K07CA158008-01A1 from the National Cancer Institute. The authors would like to thank the subdomain consultants, Felicia Huppert, Ph.D., Alice Carter, Ph.D., Marianne Brady, Ph.D., Dilip Jeste, MD, Colin Depp, Ph.D., and Bruce Cuthbert, Ph.D., and members of the NIH project team, Gitanjali Taneja, Ph.D., and Sarah Knox, Ph.D., who provided critical and constructive expertise during the development of the NIH Toolbox Emotion measurement battery.
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