Introduction

The MHC-SF is a scale measureing emotional wellbeing. The MHC-SF has been translated in various languages and has been evaluated psychometrically.

The scale is relatively short, with 14 items. The scale was developed by Corey L. Keyes.

You really should see Professor Keyes' talk about mental illness and American healthcare on TEDx (via YouTube). Link here. He calls the talk probably the most depressing talk of happiness talks. It is quite interesting to watch and it really explains the ideas behind the MHC-SF.

Each of the 14 items on the MHC-SF can be scored between 0 and 5, which means that the total score on the scale can range from 0 to 70 points. Higher scores indicate a higher level of emotional wellbeing. But it is not just the overall score that matters, but also how you can determine if someone is flourishing, languishing, or being something in between.

You can find a brief description of the scale here.

The MHC-SF contains 3 dimensions of well-being (the individual items are listed below in the scale itself):

  • Hedonic — emotional well-being

    • happy (Item 1)

    • interested in life (Item 2)

    • satisfied with life (Item 3)

  • Eudaimonic — social well-being

    • Social Contribution (Item 4)

    • Social Integration (Item 5)

    • Social Actualization (i.e., Social Growth) (Item 6)

    • Social Acceptance (Item 7)

    • Social Coherence (i.e., Social Interest) (Item 8)

  • Eudaimonic — psychological well-being

    • Self Acceptance (Item 9)

    • Environmental Mastery (Item 10)

    • Positive Relations with Others (Item 11)

    • Personal Growth (Item 12)

    • Autonomy (Item 13)

    • Purpose in Life (Item 14)

Accoring to Keyes (e.g., 2006, 2008), people can be classified as flourising or languishing in regard to emotional wellbeing. In order to be flouring, "individuals must report that they experience ‘everyday’ or ‘almost everyday’ at least seven of the symptoms, where one of the symptoms is from the hedonic (i.e., EWB) cluster (i.e., happy, interested in life, or satisfied)." (Kelley, 2008, p. 187). In order to be "languishing", "individuals must report that they ‘never’ or ‘once or twice’ experienced at least seven of the symptoms, where one of the symptoms is from the hedonic (i.e., EWB) cluster (i.e., happy, interested in life, or satisfied)." (ibid).

Kelley (2008, p. 187) states that "Individuals who do not fit the criteria for flourishing or languishing are categorized as moderately mentally healthy. Based on these diagnostic criteria, then, the data reveal that 12.2% of the sample is languishing, 67.8% were moderately mentally healthy and 20% were fl ourishing. These estimates are similar to those found by Keyes (2005a) using the long form of the mental health assessment in a national probability sample of US adults between the ages of 25 and 74, where 18% were flourishing, about 17% were languishing and 65% were moderately mentally healthy."

Run the demo

The MHC-SF is copyrighted, but can be can be used for research when proper credit is given. This means that the work by Dr. C. Keyes needs to be acknowledged (see references below).

Technically

This is a simple scale question.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: mhcagree
- {score=0} Never
- {score=1} Once or Twice
- {score=2} About once a week
- {score=3} About 2 or 3 times a week
- {score=4} Almost every day
- {score=5} Every day


l: mhc
q: <b>During the PAST MONTH, how often did you feel...</b>
t: scale mhcagree
o: width 40%
- happy
- interested in life
- satisfied with life
- that you had something important to contribute to society
- that you belonged to a community (like a social group, or your neighborhood)
- that our society is a good place, or is becoming a better place, for all people
- that people are basically good
- that the way our society works makes sense to you
- that you liked most parts of your personality
- good at managing the responsibilities of your daily life
- that you had warm and trusting relationships with others
- that you had experiences that challenged you to grow and become a better person
- confident to think or express your own ideas and opinions
- that your life has a sense of direction or meaning to it

l: mhcscore
t: set
- sum $mhc

## for the classification of flourisihing, people need to have scored 4 or 5 on items 1-3 and at least 6 times on items 4-14.
## we need to rescore items 4 to 14 (11 items)

l: mhc2_4
t: set
- if $mhc.4 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_5
t: set
- if $mhc.5 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_6
t: set
- if $mhc.6 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_7
t: set
- if $mhc.7 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_8
t: set
- if $mhc.8 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_9
t: set
- if $mhc.9 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_10
t: set
- if $mhc.10 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_11
t: set
- if $mhc.11 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_12
t: set
- if $mhc.12 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_13
t: set
- if $mhc.13 >= 4 then 1

l: mhc2_14
t: set
- if $mhc.14 >= 4 then 1

l: sumscore2
t: set
- sum $mhc2_*

l: flourishing
t: set
- if ( $mhc.1 >= 4 or $mhc.2 >=4 or $mhc.3 >=4 ) and $sumscore2 >= 6 then 1

#######################################
## now score languishing
## for people to score languashing, they need at least one score of 1 or 2 on items 1-3 and 1 or 2 on at least 6 measures of items 4-14 are languashing

l: mhc3_4
t: set
- if $mhc.4 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_5
t: set
- if $mhc.5 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_6
t: set
- if $mhc.6 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_7
t: set
- if $mhc.7 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_8
t: set
- if $mhc.8 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_9
t: set
- if $mhc.9 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_10
t: set
- if $mhc.10 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_11
t: set
- if $mhc.11 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_12
t: set
- if $mhc.12 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_13
t: set
- if $mhc.13 <= 1 then 1

l: mhc3_14
t: set
- if $mhc.14 <= 1 then 1

l: sumscore3
t: set
- sum $mhc3_*

l: languishing
t: set
- if ( $mhc.1 < 2 or $mhc.2 < 2 or $mhc.3 < 2 ) and $sumscore3 >= 6 then 1

#########################################

l:
t: jump
- if $flourishing == 1 then goto flourishing_feedback
- if $languishing == 1 then goto languishing_feedback

l: moderate_feedback
t: info
q: Your score on the Mental Health Continuum Short Form (MHC-SF) is {$mhcscore}.<br>
Based on your answers, your have a <b>moderate</b> mental health.<br>
See the PsyToolkit webpage for more information on how to interpret this.
Click link in following question to get back to the explaining PsyToolkit page.

j: end_questions

l: flourishing_feedback
t: info
q: Your score on the Mental Health Continuum Short Form (MHC-SF) is {$mhcscore}.<br>
Based on your answers, your have a <b>flourishing</b> mental health.<br>
See the PsyToolkit webpage for more information on how to interpret this.
Click link in following question to get back to the explaining PsyToolkit page.

j: end_questions

l: languishing_feedback
t: info
q: Your score on the Mental Health Continuum Short Form (MHC-SF) is {$mhcscore}.<br>
Based on your answers, your have a <b>languishing</b> mental health.<br>
See the PsyToolkit webpage for more information on how to interpret this.
Click link in following question to get back to the explaining PsyToolkit page.

l: end_questions
t: info
q: This is the end of the questionnaire.<br>
Follow link in next item to get back to PsyToolkit description of the scale.

References

  • Keyes, C.L.M. (2006). Mental health in adolescence: Is America’s youth flourishing? American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76, 395–402.

  • Keyes, C. L. M., Wissing, M., Potgieter, J. P., Temane, M., Kruger, A., & van Rooy, S. (2008). Evaluation of the mental health continuum-short form (MHC-SF) in setswana-speaking south africans. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 15(3), 181-192.