Can the 12-item General Health Questionnaire be used to measure positive mental health?
Hu, Yongjian (Researcher in medicine), Stewart-Brown, Sarah L., Twigg, Liz and Weich, Scott. (2007) Can the 12-item General Health Questionnaire be used to measure positive mental health? Psychological Medicine, Vol.37 (No.7). pp. 1005-1013. ISSN 0033-2917
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291707009993
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Medicine > Warwick Medical School|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Goldberg, David P. -- General Health Questionnaire, Mental health -- Research, Mental health surveys -- Great Britain -- Statistics, Health surveys -- Great Britain -- Statistics|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Psychological Medicine|
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Official Date:||5 February 2007|
|Page Range:||pp. 1005-1013|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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