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The Conceptualization And Measurement Of Perceived Wellness: Integrating Balance Across And Within Dimensions

Troy Adams, Janet Bezner, Mary Steinhardt

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Purpose. The impact of individual perceptions on health is well-established. However, no valid and reliable measure of individual wellness perceptions exists. Therefore, the purpose was to introduce a measure called the Perceived Wellness Survey (PWS). Design. Convenience sampling facilitated recruitment of a sample large enough to perform factor analysis with adequate power (.85). The appropriateness of factor analysis is supported by Bartlett's test ( χ2 = 7110, p ≤ .01) and the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy (.91). Setting. The sample (n = 558) was composed of 3M Inc. employees from multiple sites in Austin, Texas (n = 393); employees from MuRata Electronics, Inc., College Station, Pennsylvania (n = 53); and students enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin (n = 112). Subjects. Racial, gender, and age distribution was, respectively, 6.3% African-American (n = 35), 8.2% Asian (n = 46), 73.3% Caucasian (n = 409), 9.5% Hispanic (n = 53), and 2.7% other (n = 15); 47.8% male (n = 267), and 52.2% female (n = 291); and 36.8 years. Measures. Measures included the Perceived Wellness Survey, and two additional versions of the Perceived Wellness Survey designed to measure both discriminant and face validity. Perceived Wellness Survey subscales include physical, spiritual, intellectual, psychological, social, and emotional dimensions. Results. All subscales were correlated ( p ≤ . 05) with the Perceived Wellness Survey composite and with each other. Evidence of internal consistency (α = .88 to .93), and discriminant, face, and factorial validity was provided. Finally, the Perceived Wellness Survey appears to be a unidimensional scale. Conclusion. The unidimensional nature of the Perceived Wellness Survey suggests that perceptions of wellness in various dimensions are intertwined by their affective nature. The Perceived Wellness Survey appears to be reasonably valid and reliable; however, further research is needed.