Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 463–484 | Cite as

The College Student Subjective Wellbeing Questionnaire: A Brief, Multidimensional Measure of Undergraduate’s Covitality

  • Tyler L. RenshawEmail author
  • Sarah J. Bolognino
Research Paper


This study reports on the preliminary development and validation of the College Student Subjective Wellbeing Questionnaire (CSSWQ) with two subsamples of undergraduates. The CSSWQ is a brief, multidimensional, domain-specific measure of college students’ covitality—operationalized by a measurement model comprised of four first-order latent constructs (i.e., academic efficacy, college gratitude, school connectedness, and academic satisfaction) and one second-order latent construct (i.e., college student covitality). Results from exploratory factor analyses, conducted with the first subsample (n = 387), were used to refine a 15-item, four-subscale version of the CSSWQ, which demonstrated strong internal consistency and concurrent validity with several global indicators of subjective wellbeing. Results from confirmatory factor analyses, conducted with the second subsample (n = 584), corroborated the CSSWQ’s four-factor structure and supported the second-order latent construct of college-student covitality. Further concurrent validity analyses conducted with the second subsample, using latent-variable path analysis, indicated that the college-student covitality variable was a strong predictor of both psychological distress and psychological wellness. Analysis of variance also indicated that, when compared with global covitality status (i.e., below average, low average, high average, or above average), college-student covitality status had a stronger effect and thus incremental validity in relation to academic achievement. Implications for theory, research, and practice are discussed.


Subjective wellbeing Positive psychology Covitality Mental health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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