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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Construction and validation of a measure of integrative well-being in seven languages: The Pemberton Happiness Index

Gonzalo Hervás* and Carmelo Vázquez

Author Affiliations

School of Psychology, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2013, 11:66  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-66

Published: 22 April 2013



We introduce the Pemberton Happiness Index (PHI), a new integrative measure of well-being in seven languages, detailing the validation process and presenting psychometric data. The scale includes eleven items related to different domains of remembered well-being (general, hedonic, eudaimonic, and social well-being) and ten items related to experienced well-being (i.e., positive and negative emotional events that possibly happened the day before); the sum of these items produces a combined well-being index.


A distinctive characteristic of this study is that to construct the scale, an initial pool of items, covering the remembered and experienced well-being domains, were subjected to a complete selection and validation process. These items were based on widely used scales (e.g., PANAS, Satisfaction With Life Scale, Subjective Happiness Scale, and Psychological Well-Being Scales). Both the initial items and reference scales were translated into seven languages and completed via Internet by participants (N = 4,052) aged 16 to 60 years from nine countries (Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and USA).


Results from this initial validation study provided very good support for the psychometric properties of the PHI (i.e., internal consistency, a single-factor structure, and convergent and incremental validity).


Given the PHI’s good psychometric properties, this simple and integrative index could be used as an instrument to monitor changes in well-being. We discuss the utility of this integrative index to explore well-being in individuals and communities.

Psychological well-being; Life satisfaction; Quality of life; Measurement; Happiness; Cross-cultural