Using positive psychology measures in clinical practice: reliability and validity in an Australian population

Hennessy, Maria (2014) Using positive psychology measures in clinical practice: reliability and validity in an Australian population. In: Abstracts from the 7th European Conference on Positive Psychology. pp. 235-236. From: ECPP 2014: 7th European Conference on Positive Psychology, 1-4 July 2014, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Introduction: Mental health is usually considered from a medical perspective, with a focus on the diagnosis and management of illness and psychological distress. However, there is increasing advocacy for an holistic approach to mental health that considers both illness and well-being. To encourage clinicians to use a dual-factor model of mental health, newer positive psychology measures need to have their psychometric properties established.

Method: A selection of positive psychology measures (MHC-SF, Flourishing Scale, SWLS, LOT-R) and mental illness measures ( Kessler-10, Basis-24, DASS21) were administered to an Australian community sample (n=200, M=30.5, SD=11.3).

Results: The internal consistency of the positive psychology measures was excellent (>.9), excluding the LOT-R. Convergent validity was demonstrated through high correlations between the positive psychology measures (r=.72 to .82); and lower correlations with psychological distress measures (r = -.51. to -.65) For the MHC-SF a two factor model that combined the emotional and psychological well-being factors, with a separate social well-being factor was a better fit for the data.

Discussion: These results indicate that positive psychology measures have robust construct validity as measures of positive mental health separate from traditional measures of psychological distress. They support the idea that positive indicators of well-being should be used alongside traditional measures of mental illness. These new measures are easy to use, inexpensive, reliable and valid. They send a clear message that assessment and treatment planning should have a strengths-based approach to recovery and outcome, and their use in clinical practice should be encouraged.

Item ID: 38758
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: psychological assessment, positive psychology, mental health
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Also presented at the 4th Australian Positive Psychology and Well-being Conference, 7-9 February 2014, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2015 01:26
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes @ 100%
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