Dual Factor Approaches to Screen for Complete Mental Health

Expanding beyond a primarily deficit focused approach, contemporary mental health screening has examined a combination of students’ psychological distress and subjective well-being (Moore et al., 2015). This “dual-factor” approach, which examines both positive and negative symptoms of mental health, (Greenspoon & Saklofske, 2001; Keyes, 2005; Suldo & Schaffer, 2008) is aligned with current definitions of mental health as the state of being “free of psychopathology and flourishing, with high levels of emotional, psychological, and social well-being” (Keyes, 2005, p. 539). 

Although there is not yet a consensus criteria for determining student membership in complete mental health groups, the majority of school-based studies to date have first sorted students by symptoms of high and low psychological distress, and then by high and low subjective well-being (Greenspoon & Saklofske, 2001; Suldo & Shaffer, 2008; Venning, Wilson, Kettler, & Eliott, 2013), a process that creates four logical mental health groups (Kim et al., in press). By screening students for both positive and negative indicators of mental health, school support teams have an expanded picture of students, including which strengths might serve as protective factors in the future and improve developmental outcomes (Furlong, Dowdy et al., 2014).

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Key References

Kim, E., Dowdy, E., Furlong, M. J., & You, S. (2016). Mental health profiles and quality of life outcomes among Korean adolescents. Manuscript under review, School Psychology International.

Kim, E. K., Dowdy, E., & Furlong, M. J.  (2014). An exploration of using a dual-factor model in school-based mental health screening. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 29, 127–140. doi:10.1177/0829573514529567

Moffa, K., Dowdy, E., & Furlong. M. J. (2016). Exploring the contributions of school belonging to complete mental health screening. Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist. doi:10.1017/edp.2016.8

Kim, E. K. (2015). Complete mental health profiles and quality of life outcomes among Korean adolescents. Doctoral dissertation, University of California Santa Barbara.

Rebelez, J. L. (2015). Capturing complete mental health among adolescents: Investigation of latent class typologies of covitality. Doctoral dissertation, University of California Santa Barbara.

© Project Covitality 2016