Measure Development

The Wellbeing Assessment began with the identification of a conceptual model—the Engine Model of Well-being (Jayawickreme, Forgeard, and Seligman, 2012)— which we adapted to our project.

We then identified wellbeing dimensions that:

  1. We believe the higher education setting can and should support,
  2. Are relevant to young adult undergraduate students, and
  3. Show the potential to be responsive to programming.

We reviewed existing research and measures for those dimensions to identify key content areas for each dimension’s outcomes. At the same time, we developed a list of pathway items using theoretical literature, research about program effectiveness, applied behavior change theories (e.g., TTM and MI), and a socio-ecological framework. During this process, we relied on input from our own expert panel of programming staff and researchers to reduce our item lists and check them for content validity.

Once an initial list of items was drafted, we began submitting the measure to iterative rounds of student cognitive interviews, pilot administrations, structural equation modeling, and further expert input.

As of spring 2019, the measure has undergone four rounds of cognitive interviews and four multisite survey administrations with undergraduate populations. The data from the spring 2019 survey were used to develop a quantitative psychometric profile of the Assessment which is available here as a report on the spring 2019 methods and psychometrics.

Earlier details about the measure’s development and our approach to assessing its reliability and validity can be found in this paper, presented at the annual meeting of The National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) in April 2017.