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Dimensionality of mental health activities in a German sample

Health Promotion International, 2018, 1 – 11
Hofmann, H. & Kohlmann, C.-W.


For the promotion of mental health and the reduction of mental impairment, a person’s behavior is of vital importance. Therefore, the assessment of mental health behavior is crucial in the development of suitable interventions. The present study investigates 14 self-help strategies compiled by Morgan and Jorm (Self-help strategies that are helpful for sub-threshold depression: a Delphi consensus study. J Affect Disord, 2009; 115: 196–200) as items of a self-report scale to assess mental health promoting behavior. Dimensionality and psychometrics of mental health activities were examined in a sample of 852 German adults (76% female). After exploratory factor analyses (EFAs, n = 543), several factor structure possibilities were subsequently tested by confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs, n = 309). Based on these results, psychometric properties were calculated. Factor analyses result in a three-factor solution with the subscales positive orientation, physical engagement and emotion regulation. CFAs indicate a good model fit. The total scale showed acceptable reliability. Correlations with indicators of positive mental health were higher than with those of mental impairment. Moreover, correlations support the three-factor structure of the instrument. Women scored higher than men in the total scale, due to differences in the subscale emotion regulation. Although some modifications were performed, the results of our analyses suggest that the self-help strategies introduced by Morgan and Jorm (2009) are indeed useful items for a brief scale to assess mental health activity. The identification of the multidimensionality is an important step in supporting the work of mental health promotion.

Health Promotion International.