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The Mental Health Continuum Short Form

The short form of the Mental Health Continuum (MHC-SF) is derived from the long form (MHC-LF), which consisted of seven items measuring emotional well-being, six 3-item scales (or 18 items total) that measured the six dimensions of Ryff’s (1989) model of psychological well-being, and  five 3-item scales (or 15 items total) that measure the five dimensions of Keyes’ (1998) model of social well-being. The measure of emotional well-being in the MHC-LF included six items measuring the frequency of positive affect that was derived, in part, from Bradburn’s (1969) affect balance scale, and a single item of the quality of life overall based on Cantril’s (1965) self-anchoring items. The estimates of internal consistency reliability for each of the three sets of measures—emotional, psychological, and social well-being—in the MHC short and long forms have all been high (> .80; see e.g., Keyes, 2005a). The MHC-LF form measures of social and psychological well-being have been validated (see Keyes, 1998; Ryff, 1989, Ryff & Keyes, 1995) and used in hundreds of studies over the past two decades, and their use as a measure of overall positive mental health was first introduced by Keyes (2002) and recently summarized in Keyes (2007).