Location of Repository

Can the 12-item General Health Questionnaire be used to measure positive mental health? \ud

By Yongjian (Researcher in medicine) Hu, Sarah L. Stewart-Brown, Liz Twigg and Scott Weich

Abstract

Background. Well-being is an important determinant of health and social outcomes. Measures of positive mental health states are needed for population-based research. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) has been widely used in many settings and languages, and includes positively and negatively worded items. Our aim was to test the hypothesis that the GHQ-12 assesses both positive and negative mental health and that these domains are independent of one another.\ud \ud Method. Exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory (CFA) factor analyses were conducted using data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and the Health Survey for England (HSE). Regression models were used to assess whether associations with individual and household characteristics varied across positive and negative mental health dimensions. We also explored higher-level variance in these measures, between electoral wards.\ud \ud Results. We found a consistent, replicable factor structure in both datasets. EFA results indicated a two-factor solution, and CFA demonstrated that this was superior to a one-factor model. These factors correspond to ‘symptoms of mental disorder’ and ‘positive mental health’. Further analyses demonstrated independence of these factors in associations with age, gender, employment status, poor housing and household composition. Statistically significant ward-level variance was found for symptoms of mental disorder but not positive mental health.\ud \ud Conclusions. The GHQ-12 measures both positive and negative aspects of mental health, and although correlated, these dimensions have some independence. The GHQ-12 could be used to measure positive mental health in population-based research

Topics: BF
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:653

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (2002). A confirmatory factor analysis of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire among older people. doi
  2. (2004). A confirmatory factor analysis of the General Health Questionnaire-12. Stress and doi
  3. (1969). A general approach to confirmatory maximum likelihood factor analysis. doi
  4. (2004). A User’s Guide to MLwiN. Institute of Education: London.
  5. (2005). Alternative factor models and factorial invariance of the GHQ-12: a large sample analysis using confirmatory factor analysis. doi
  6. (1984). An Introduction to Latent Variable Models. doi
  7. (1998). Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis. doi
  8. (1999). Assessing the multidimensionality of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. doi
  9. (2005). British Household Panel Survey User Manual Volume A: Introduction,
  10. (2006). Cardiovascular risk in midlife and psychological well-being among older men. doi
  11. (2003). Confirmatory factor analysis of the GHQ-12: can I see that again? Australian and New Zealand doi
  12. (1992). Dimensions of neurosis. doi
  13. (2000). Emotional well-being predicts subsequent functional independence and survival. doi
  14. (1990). Evaluating and modifying covariance structure models: a review and recommendation. doi
  15. (2003). Evidence for the independence of positive and negative well-being: implications for quality of life assessment. doi
  16. (2003). Geographical variation in the prevalence of common mental disorders in Britain: a multilevel investigation. doi
  17. (1994). Health Survey for England. A Survey Carried Out by the Social Survey Division doi
  18. (2001). Income inequality and the prevalence of common mental disorders in Britain. doi
  19. (2000). Introducing Lisrel: A Guide for the Uninitiated. doi
  20. (2005). Mental illness and/or mental health? Investigating axioms of the complete state model of health. doi
  21. (1991). Multidimensional properties of the General Health Questionnaire. doi
  22. (1999). Multilevel Analysis: An Introduction to Basic and Advanced Multilevel Modeling.
  23. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: a review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. doi
  24. (1988). Positive and negative affectivity and their relation to anxiety and depressive disorders. doi
  25. (2001). Positive emotions in early life and longevity: findings from the nun study. doi
  26. (1998). Poverty, unemployment and common mental disorders: population-based cohort study. doi
  27. (1994). Reliability, validity and factor structure of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire among young males in Italy. doi
  28. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. doi
  29. (2004). Stata Statistical Software: Release 8.0. Stata Corporation: College Station, doi
  30. (1998). The comparison of latent variable models of non-psychotic psychiatric morbidity in four culturally diverse populations. doi
  31. (1998). The contours of positive mental health. doi
  32. (1988). The User’s Guide to the General Health Questionnaire.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.