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J Posit Psychol. 2015 May 4;10(3):262-271. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

A multidimensional approach to measuring well-being in students: Application of the PERMA framework.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia , PA , USA.
2
Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne , Melbourne , Australia.
3
Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne , Melbourne , Australia ; St. Peter's College , Adelaide , Australia.

Abstract

Seligman recently introduced the PERMA model with five core elements of psychological well-being: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. We empirically tested this multidimensional theory with 516 Australian male students (age 13-18). From an extensive well-being assessment, we selected a subset of items theoretically relevant to PERMA. Factor analyses recovered four of the five PERMA elements, and two ill-being factors (depression and anxiety). We then explored the nomological net surrounding each factor by examining cross-sectional associations with life satisfaction, hope, gratitude, school engagement, growth mindset, spirituality, physical vitality, physical activity, somatic symptoms, and stressful life events. Factors differentially related to these correlates, offering support for the multidimensional approach to measuring well-being. Directly assessing subjective well-being across multiple domains offers the potential for schools to more systematically understand and promote well-being.

KEYWORDS:

Well-being theory; adolescents; measurement; multidimensional approach; positive education; positive psychology

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