Measuring and Predicting Student Well-Being: Further Evidence in Support of the Flourishing Scale and the Scale of Positive and Negative Experiences

Abstract

An increased focus on well-being in university settings has spurred the development of brief scales of both functioning well and feeling good. The objectives of the current study were to generate descriptive findings concerning psychometric properties (e.g., factor structure; reliability) of the recently devised Flourishing Scale (FS) and Scale of Positive and Negative Experiences (SPANE; Diener et al., Soc Indic Res 97:143–156, 2010) with an English-speaking university student sample, and to test associations between the scales and potential predictors of eudaimonic and hedonic aspects of well-being. The FS and SPANE scales were completed by 478 undergraduate students, along with scales measuring 10 human values and both time and material affluence. Descriptive statistics (e.g., means, standard deviations, reliability coefficients) for the FS and SPANE scales were highly similar to those reported by Diener et al. (Soc Indic Res 97:143–156, 2010) and confirmatory factor analysis supported the hypothesized three-factor model (i.e., flourishing, positive feelings, and negative feelings). Self-transcendence and conservation value types were significant predictors of FS scores, whereas only the conservation value type predicted affect balance scores from the SPANE. Time and material affluence were significant predictors of both FS and affect balance scores. Results are discussed in relation to the distinction between eudaimonic and hedonic aspects of well-being.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Chantal Beaudoin and Alan Vladicka for their significant involvement in supporting and facilitating this project.

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Correspondence to Andrew J. Howell.

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Howell, A.J., Buro, K. Measuring and Predicting Student Well-Being: Further Evidence in Support of the Flourishing Scale and the Scale of Positive and Negative Experiences. Soc Indic Res 121, 903–915 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-014-0663-1

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Keywords

  • Flourishing
  • Positive feelings
  • Negative feelings
  • Human values
  • Time affluence
  • Material affluence