Positive mental wellbeing in Australian adolescents: evaluating the Warwick-Edinburgh mental wellbeing scale

Simon C. Hunter, Stephen Houghton, Lisa Wood

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While there is increasing recognition of the need to go beyond measures of mental ill health, there is a relative dearth of validated tools for assessing mental wellbeing among adolescents. The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) is a promising tool for use in this context, and this study evaluated its use in an Australian context. The WEBWBS was completed by 829 Western Australian adolescents, aged 13 to 16 years old, drawn from grades 8, 9 and 10 in seven separate high schools. Using confirmatory factor analytic techniques, the utility of the full 14-item scale was not supported but good fit for a previously validated seven-item short version (SWEMWBS) was supported. Strong measurement invariance was demonstrated across age and weak measurement invariance was demonstrated across gender. The scale has good internal reliability. There were no differences in SWEMWBS scores across Grades 8 to 10. Overall, the SWEMWBS represents a useful tool for educational, developmental, and school psychologists investigating positive mental wellbeing in younger adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Educational and Developmental Psychologist
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2015


  • positive wellbeing
  • mental health
  • adolescents

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