Citation: VanderWeele, T.J. (2017). On the promotion of human flourishing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 31:8148-8156.
PMID or DOI: N/A
Main positive psychological well-being construct measured: ‘Human flourishing’
Definition: “… flourishing, however conceived, would, at the very least, require doing or being well in the following five broad domains of human life: (i) happiness and life satisfaction; (ii) health, both mental and physical; (iii) meaning and purpose; (iv) character and virtue; and (v) close social relationships” (VanderWeele, 2017).
Sub-constructs measured: N/A
Available subscales: happiness and life satisfaction, mental and physical health, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, close relationships, financial and material stability
Description: “The “Flourish” measure consists of two questions or items from each of the five main subscales: happiness and life satisfaction, mental and physical health, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and close social relationships. The questions were selected primarily from among existing questions that had received some empirical validation and that are widely used in the well-being literature. Two additional questions on financial and material stability may be included to obtain a measure of “Secure Flourish”.
Number of items: 12
Example of statement/item: “I always act to promote good in all circumstances, even in difficult and challenging situations” and “Overall, how satisfied are you with life as a whole these days?”
Response options: All questions are scored on a scale of 0-10 and differ for each question. For example, 0 represents lower levels of agreement (i.e., “poor”, “strongly disagree”, “not true of me”), and 10 represents higher levels of agreement (i.e., “excellent”, “strongly agree”, “completely true of me”).
Total score: The flourishing index score is obtained by summing the scores from each of the ten questions and results in a total score from of 0 – 100. The secure flourishing index score is obtained by summing the scores from the twelve questions in all six domains and results in a score from 0 – 120. Often, for purposes of interpretation, the flourishing and secure flourishing scores are reported as averages of the questions (rather than sums) so that all scores are on a scale of 0-10. The average score within each of the five or six domains is also often of interest.
Examples of studies:
Weziak-Bialowolska D, Bialowolski P, VanderWeele TJ, McNeely E. Character Strengths Involving an Orientation to Promote Good Can Help Your Health and Well-Being. Evidence From two Longitudinal Studies. Am J Health Promot. 2020 Oct 13:890117120964083.
Węziak-Białowolska, D., McNeely, E., and VanderWeele, T.J. (2019). Human flourishing in cross cultural settings: evidence from the US, China, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Mexico. Frontiers in Psychology, 10 (Article 1269): 1-13.