Authors: Gary M. Williams and Prof. Andrew P. Smith, Cardiff University

Day One – Tuesday 25th June

Strand – Health & Well Being

Session One: 11.30am – 1pm

Psychological well-being involves not only the lack of depression or anxiety, but also the presence of positive mental health factors such as life satisfaction and positive mood.  Furthermore, the factors that affect well-being are numerous, and range from circumstances such as a highly demanding workload, to individual differences in perceived self-efficacy and coping style.

Measurement of well-being and the relevant associated variables therefore becomes very impractical in situations where resources are limited, for example in organisations who wish to assess well-being and identify areas of need.

Single-item measures are often used in situations where numerous variables need to be measured but the use of many multiple-item scales would lead to an impractically large questionnaire – for example in large scale epidemiological surveys. We therefore examine the single-item approach to measuring the well-being process, from circumstances to individual differences to outcomes, compared to traditional multi-item scales.  In a series of studies, single-items are examined in terms of their relationship with the multi-item scales, the relationships between variables of interest, and the measurement of well-being over time.

The results suggest that using single-items in this way provides a satisfactory approach to assess well-being and identify areas of concern, when traditional methods are impractical in terms of time, cost, or response burden. 

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