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Wellness Dimensions Relate to Happiness in Children and Adolescents

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This paper describes the results of a study designed to explore factors in children and adolescents that contribute to happiness, and to contribute to the reliability and validity of the Child and Adolescent Wellness Scale (CAWS). Rooted in resilience research and the philosophy of positive psychology, the CAWS is a recently developed self-report instrument that provides psychologists with a means of evaluating the competencies of children and adolescents across 10 domains associated with well-being. Surveys from a sample of 281 middle and high school students were collected to investigate the instrument's technical properties and its relationship with a measure of happiness or life satisfaction. The CAWS evidenced strong internal consistency reliability. Student CAWS scores were highly correlated (r = .71) with self-report ratings from the Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Survey, providing criterion validity and suggesting that the CAWS dimensions are associated with happiness in youth. Potential applications of the CAWS as a tool to promote positive mental health and future research directions are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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  • Published by The Clifford Beers Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Advances in School Mental Health Promotion emphasises the interconnectedness of research, policy, training and practice and the opportunities to make progress in all these areas through global dialogue, collaboration and action. Mark Weist (University of South Carolina and former director/senior advisor of the Center for School Mental Health) and Michael Murray (The Clifford Beers Foundation) are the editors, supported by a distinguished international editorial board.

    Advances in School Mental Health Promotion is an academic journal that co-ordinates the dissemination of new research outcomes to all those involved in policy making and the implementation of mental health promotion in schools and is essential reading for those with a personal or professional interest in this work.

    Peer reviewed by an expert international board, the Journal is a comprehensive information resource which publishes material of distinction submitted by those with a clinical, professional, academic or personal interest in promoting mental health in schools

    The aim of the Journal is to increase awareness, foster understanding and promote collaboration between the different disciplines engaged in this diverse activity of study.

    Advances in School Mental Health Promotion is the official journal of the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools (InterCAMHS), an alliance that aims to promote the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

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