Valid and reliable assessment of wellness among adolescents: Do you know what you’re measuring?


  • Jerome N. Rachele Queensland University of Technology
  • Tracy L. Washington Queensland University of Technology
  • Thomas F. Cuddihy Queensland University of Technology and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Faisal A. Barwais Queensland University of Technology and Umm Al-Qura University
  • Steven M. McPhail Queensland University of Technology and Queensland Health


wellness, adolescent, measurement technique, instrument


Measuring wellness among adolescents is an emerging trend among professionals and researchers endeavouring to influence youth as they establish lifestyle patterns in this critical period of life. This discussion highlights instruments used to measure adolescents’ wellness, and considers the empirical data supporting the validity and reliability of those instruments. In summary, adolescents’ wellness is an important indicator of future health and lifestyle habits. There are a number of tools available to measure wellness, each with its own focus, depending on the definition or model from which it was developed. This might cause debate regarding the appropriateness of some instruments for evaluating wellness. The majority of wellness evaluation approaches used with adolescent populations have less than ideal validation. A ‘gold standard’ definition could lead to the standardisation of a theoretical model against which wellness instruments could be validated. The absence of peer-reviewed studies reporting psychometric testing for wellness evaluation instruments used with adolescents is of concern given their growing popularity and highlights a priority area for future research in this field.


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