BACKGROUND: Mental health is increasingly viewed as the presence of various aspects of well-being rather than just the absence of mental illness. The Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF) is a 14-item instrument that assesses mental health, focusing on emotional, psychological, and social well-being. The present study examined for the first time the psychometric properties of the Dutch version of the MHC-SF among adolescents, focusing on its factor structure, internal consistency, construct validity, and gender and age factorial invariance. METHODS: Data were collected from a school-based sample of 1175 adolescents (53.4% girls) aged 11-17 years (M = 13.7; SD = 1.1). Participants completed an online questionnaire in the classroom during regular school hours. Statistical analyses to evaluate the factor structure, internal consistency, construct validity, and gender and age factorial invariance were performed in SPSS and R. RESULTS: Using confirmatory factor analyses, a satisfactory-to-good fit was obtained for the three-factor model (emotional, psychological, and social well-being). The MHC-SF scores showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = .91) and results supported convergent and divergent validity. Finally, the MHC-SF showed gender and age factorial invariance. CONCLUSION: The current psychometric evaluation indicates the MHC-SF is a reliable and valid instrument to assess multiple dimensions of well-being among Dutch adolescents. The instrument can be applied for research purposes and in clinical practice.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Adolescents, Mental health, Psychometric evaluation, Quality of life outcomes, Well-being
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12955-019-1221-y, hdl.handle.net/1765/120445
Journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
Citation
Luijten, C.C, Kuppens, S, van de Bongardt, D, & Nieboer, A.P. (2019). Evaluating the psychometric properties of the mental health continuum-short form (MHC-SF) in Dutch adolescents. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s12955-019-1221-y