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This study describes the psychometric testing of the Mental Health Continuum (MHC) model the Canadian Department of National Defense developed initially, among undergraduates of three Canadian universities. The MHC is a tool that consists of 6 items to guide students the way to attend to, or monitor, signs and behavior indicators of their mental health status and suggest appropriate actions to improve their mental health.


Online survey data were collected from 4206 undergraduate students in three universities in two Canadian provinces during the spring of 2015 and winter of 2016. Participants completed an online survey questionnaire that consisted of the MHC questionnaire, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K-10), and demographic information, including age, gender, and year of study.


Factor analysis using the principal components method followed by a two-step internal replication analysis showed that the MHC tool was two-dimensional and that all six domains assessed were crucial. The construct (convergent) validity of the MHC tool was tested against the K-10, and the correlation analysis results were strong overall, as well as within subgroups defined by gender, year of study, and university.


The MHC is a useful tool that helps college students reflect on and enhance their mental health.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

BMC Psychology