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Title: Psychometric properties and population norms of the positive mental health instrument in a representative multi-ethnic Asian population
Authors: Vaingankar, Janhavi Ajit
Subramaniam, Mythily
Tan, Linda Wei Lin
Abdin, Edimansyah
Lim, Wei Yen
Wee, Hwee Lin
Chong, Siow Ann
van Dam, Rob Martinus
Keywords: General Population
Confirmatory Factor Analysis
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Vaingankar, J. A., Subramaniam, M., Tan, L. W. L., Abdin, E., Lim, W. Y., Wee, H. L., et al. (2018). Psychometric properties and population norms of the positive mental health instrument in a representative multi-ethnic Asian population. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18, 29-.
Series/Report no.: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Abstract: Background: Measures of mental well-being and positive mental health (PMH) have been largely developed and used in Western populations, however, data on representative Asian communities are lacking. Using data from a population sample, this study sought to establish psychometric properties and norms of the PMH Instrument (PMHI), a measure of positive mental health developed in Singapore. Methods: We conducted a nationally representative survey among 1925 adults aged 18–79 years of Chinese, Malay, Indian or other ethnicity. Participants reported socio-demographic characteristics and completed the PMH-I along with measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological distress. Construct validity of the PMH-I was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis and concurrent validity was tested through correlation with other psychological measures. Normative PMH values and differences in population subgroups were estimated. Results: The six-factor-higher-order structure of the PMH-I comprising six subscales of general coping, emotional support, spirituality, interpersonal skills, personal growth and autonomy and global affect was confirmed. Concurrent validity was shown through significant positive correlation of the total PMH score and its subscales with HRQoL and an inverse correlation with psychological distress. Weighted age, gender and ethnicity-specific norms were derived for the Singapore population. Total PMH was significantly higher in participants aged over 40 years as compared with 18–29 year olds and in non-Chinese ethnic groups as compared with Chinese. These differences were observed for all PMH-I subscales, with the exception of emotional support and interpersonal skills score differences by age. In contrast, gender, marital status, and education level were significantly associated with some of the subscales, but not with total PMH. Conclusions: These results support the psychometric properties of the PMH-I in a multi-ethnic Asian population sample. The generalizable population-based norms support the application of the PMH-I for measuring mental health and assessing its determinants within the Singapore general population.
DOI: 10.1186/s12874-018-0487-9
Rights: © 2018 The Author(s). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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