Child Indicators Research

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 753–775 | Cite as

Preliminary Development of the Positive Experiences at School Scale for Elementary School Children

  • Michael J. Furlong
  • Sukkyung YouEmail author
  • Tyler L. Renshaw
  • Meagan D. O’Malley
  • Jennica Rebelez


This study reports on the preliminary development of the Positive Experiences at School Scale (PEASS), which was developed to measure a new construct, student covitality—conceptualized as the synergistic experience of well-being that results from the interactions of multiple school-grounded positive traits in youth. The PEASS is a brief, self-report, developmentally-appropriate assessment with subscales measuring four school-anchored positive-psychological traits that are linked with youth well-being and school engagement: gratitude, zest, optimism, and persistence. The composite score of the four PEASS subscales was hypothesized to represent student covitality. Construct validity was examined using confirmatory factor analyses, invariance analysis, and latent means analysis. Factor analysis results supported four first-order PEASS subscales; in addition, multigroup invariance testing showed that a measurement model including the second-order covitality latent trait was a good fit for both males, RMSEA = .040, 90 % CI [.033, .046], and females, RMSEA = .053, 90 % CI [.047, .059], providing support for student covitality as a parsimonious construct representing youths’ global positive experiences at school. Additional concurrent validity analyses were conducted by examining the association between student covitality and other behavioral and psychological variables (i.e., feelings of school safety, bullying experiences, and responses to a school-anchored Prosocial Behavior scale and the Psychological Sense of School Membership scale). Implications for theory, practice, and future research are discussed.


Covitality Positive psychology School psychology Gratitude Zest Optimism Persistence Well-being 



This work was partially supported by the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund granted to Sukkyung You.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Furlong
    • 1
  • Sukkyung You
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tyler L. Renshaw
    • 3
  • Meagan D. O’Malley
    • 4
  • Jennica Rebelez
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School PsychologyUniversity of California Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationHankuk University of Foreign StudiesSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  4. 4.Health & Human Development ProgramWestEdLos AlamitosUSA

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