The mental health continuum-short form: The structure and application for cross-cultural studies-A 38 nation study

Magdalena Zemojtel-Piotrowska*, Jaroslaw P. Piotrowski, Evgeny N. Osin, Jan Cieciuch, Byron G. Adams, Rahkman Ardi, Sergiu Baltatescu, Sergey Bogomaz, Arbinda Lal Bhomi, Amanda Clinton, Gisela T. de Clunie, Anna Z. Czarna, Carla Esteves, Valdiney Gouveia, Murnizam H. J. Halik, Ashraf Hosseini, Narine Khachatryan, Shanmukh Vasant Kamble, Anna Kawula, Vivian Miu-Chi LunDzintra Ilisko, Martina Klicperova-Baker, Kadi Liik, Eva Letovancova, Sara Malo Cerrato, Jaroslaw Michalowski, Natalia Malysheva, Alison Marganski, Marija Nikolic, Joonha Park, Elena Paspalanova, Pablo Perez de Leon, Gyozo Pek, Joanna Rozycka-Tran, Adil Samekin, Wahab Shahbaz, Truong Thi Khanh Ha, Habib Tiliouine, Alain Van Hiel, Melanie Vauclair, Eduardo Wills-Herrera, Anna Wlodarczyk, Illia Yahiiaev, John Maltby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF) is a brief scale measuring positive human functioning. The study aimed to examine the factor structure and to explore the cross-cultural utility of the MHC-SF using bifactor models and exploratory structural equation modelling.


Using multigroup confirmatory analysis (MGCFA) we examined the measurement invariance of the MHC-SF in 38 countries (university students, N=8,066; 61.73% women, mean age 21.55 years).


MGCFA supported the cross-cultural replicability of a bifactor structure and a metric level of invariance between student samples. The average proportion of variance explained by the general factor was high (ECV=.66), suggesting that the three aspects of mental health (emotional, social, and psychological well-being) can be treated as a single dimension of well-being.


The metric level of invariance offers the possibility of comparing correlates and predictors of positive mental functioning across countries; however, the comparison of the levels of mental health across countries is not possible due to lack of scalar invariance. Our study has preliminary character and could serve as an initial assessment of the structure of the MHC-SF across different cultural settings. Further studies on general populations are required for extending our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1052
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • cross-cultural study
  • measurement invariance
  • Mental Health Continuum-Short Form
  • MHC-SF
  • LIFE


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