Objective: 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. Method: 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). Results: 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. Conclusion: 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.
- cross-cultural study
- measurement invariance
- Mental Health Continuum-Short Form