Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Mental well-being and mental illness: findings from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for England 2007

  • Scott Weich (a1), Traolach Brugha (a2), Michael King (a3), Sally McManus (a4), Paul Bebbington (a3), Rachel Jenkins (a5), Claudia Cooper (a3), Orla McBride (a6) and Sarah Stewart-Brown (a1)...
Abstract
Background

Mental well-being underpins many aspects of health and social functioning, and is economically important.

Aims

To describe mental well-being in a general population sample and to determine the extent to which mental well-being and mental illness are independent of one another.

Method

Secondary analysis of a survey of 7293 adults in England. Nine survey questions were identified as possible indicators of mental well-being. Common mental disorders (ICD-10) were ascertained using the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R). Principal components analysis was used to describe the factor structure of mental well-being and to generate mental well-being indicators.

Results

A two-factor solution found eight out of nine items with strong loadings on well-being. Eight items corresponding to hedonic and eudaemonic well-being accounted for 36.9% and 14.3% of total variance respectively. Separate hedonic and eudaemonic well-being scales were created. Hedonic well-being (full of life; having lots of energy) declined with age, while eudaemonic well-being (getting on well with family and friends; sense of belonging) rose steadily with age. Hedonic well-being was lower and eudaemonic well-being higher in women. Associations of well-being with age, gender, income and self-rated health were little altered by adjustment for symptoms of mental illness.

Conclusions

In a large nationally representative population sample, two types of well-being were distinguished and reliably assessed: hedonic and eudaemonic. Associations with mental well-being were relatively independent of symptoms of mental illness. Mental well-being can remain even in the presence of mental suffering.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Mental well-being and mental illness: findings from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for England 2007
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Mental well-being and mental illness: findings from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for England 2007
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Mental well-being and mental illness: findings from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for England 2007
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Scott Weich, Health Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK. Email: s.weich@warwick.ac.uk
Footnotes
Hide All

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
1 Danner, DD, Snowdon, DA, Friesen, WV. Positive emotions in early life and longevity: findings from the nun study. J Pers Soc Psychol 2001; 80: 804–13.
2 Keyes, CL, Dhingra, SS, Simoes, EJ. Change in level of positive mental health as a predictor of future risk of mental illness. Am J Public Health 2010; 100: 2366–71.
3 Wood, AM, Joseph, S. The absence of positive psychological (eudemonic) well-being as a risk factor for depression: a ten year cohort study. J Affect Disord 2010; 122: 213–7.
4 Beddington, J, Cooper, CL, Field, J, Goswami, U, Huppert, FA, Jenkins, R, et al. The mental wealth of nations. Nature 2008; 455: 1057–60.
5 Oswald, AJ, Wu, S. Objective confirmation of subjective measures of human well-being: evidence from the U.S.A. Science 2010; 327: 576–9.
6 Strandberg, TE, Strandberg, AY, Pitkala, KH, Salomaa, VV, Tilvis, RS, Miettinen, TA. Cardiovascular risk in midlife and psychological well-being among older men. Arch Intern Med 2006; 166: 2266–71.
7 Manderscheid, RW, Ryff, CD, Freeman, EJ, McKnight-Eily, LR, Dhingra, S, Strine, TW. Evolving definitions of mental illness and wellness. Prev Chron Dis 2010; 7: A19.
8 Blanchflower, DG, Oswald, AJ. The U-shape without controls: a response to Glenn. Soc Sci Med 2009; 69: 486–8.
9 Westerhof, GJ, Keyes, CL. Mental Illness and mental health: the two continua model across the lifespan. J Adult Dev 2010; 17: 110–9.
10 Keyes, CLM. Social well-being. Soc Psychol Q 1998; 61: 121–40.
11 Lamers, SM, Westerhof, GJ, Bohlmeijer, ET, Ten Klooster, PM, Keyes, CL. Evaluating the psychometric properties of the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF). J Clin Psychol 2010; 67: 99110.
12 Gallagher, MW, Lopez, SJ, Preacher, KJ. The hierarchical structure of well-being. J Pers 2009; 77: 1025–50.
13 McManus, S, Meltzer, H, Brugha, T, Bebbington, P, (eds). Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England, 2007: Results of a Household Survey. The NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care, 2009.
14 Scottish Government. Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland: Policy and Action Plan 2009–2011. Scottish Government, 2009.
15 Jenkinson, C, Layte, R, Jenkinson, D, Lawrence, K, Petersen, S, Paice, C, et al. A shorter form health survey: can the SF-12 replicate results from the SF-36 in longitudinal studies? J Public Health Med 1997; 19: 179–86.
16 Tyrer, P, Nur, U, Crawford, M, Karlsen, S, MacLean, C, Rao, B, et al. The Social Functioning Questionnaire: a rapid and robust measure of perceived functioning. Int J Soc Psychiatry 2005; 51: 265–75.
17 Blanchflower, DG, Oswald, AJ. Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle? Soc Sci Med 2008; 66: 1733–49.
18 Singh-Manoux, A, Guéguen, A, Martikainen, P, Ferrie, J, Marmot, M, Shipley, M. Self-rated health and mortality: short- and long-term associations in the Whitehall II study. Psychosom Med 2007; 69: 138–43.
19 Dunstan, F, Weaver, N, Araya, R, Bell, T, Lannon, S, Lewis, G, et al. An observation tool to assist with the assessment of urban residential environments. J Environ Psychol 2005; 25: 293305.
20 Lewis, G, Pelosi, AJ, Araya, R, Dunn, G. Measuring psychiatric disorder in the community: a standardised assessment for use by lay interviewers. Psychol Med 1992; 22: 465–86.
21 Tabachnik, BG, Fidell, LS. Using Multivariate Analysis. Allyn and Bacon, 2001.
22 Carmines, EG, Zeller, RA. Reliability and Validity. SAGE, 1979.
23 Huppert, FA, Whittington, JE. Evidence for the independence of positive and negative well-being: implications for quality of life assessment. Br J Health Psychol 2003; 8: 107–22.
24 Hu, Y, Stewart-Brown, S, Twigg, L, Weich, S. Can the 12-item General Health Questionnaire be used to measure positive mental health? Psychol Med 2007; 37: 1005–13.
25 Carstensen, LL. The influence of a sense of time on human development. Science 2006; 312: 1913–5.
26 Cooper, C, Bebbington, P, King, M, Jenkins, R, Farrell, M, Brugha, T, et al. Happiness across age groups: results from the 2007 National Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2010; Dec 9 (Epub ahead of print).
27 Waterman, AS, Schwartz, SJ, Zamboangac, BL, Ravert, RD, Williams, MK, Agochae, VB, et al. The Questionnaire for Eudaemonic Well-Being: Psychometric properties, demographic comparisons, and evidence of validity. J Posit Psychol 2010; 5: 4161.
28 Uher, R, Goodman, R. The Everyday Feeling Questionnaire: the structure and validation of a measure of general psychological well-being and distress. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2010; 45: 413–23.
29 Tennant, R, Hiller, L, Fishwick, R, Platt, S, Joseph, S, Weich, S, et al. The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): development and UK validation. Health Qual Life Outcomes 2007; 5: 63.
30 Bech, P, Olsen, RL, Kjoller, M, Rasmussen, NK. Measuring well-being rather than the absence of distress symptoms: a comparison of the SF-36 Mental Health subscale and the WHO-Five Well-Being Scale. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res 2003; 12: 8591.
31 Gallup, G. Human needs and satisfactions: a global survey. Public Opin Q 1976; 40: 459–67.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 12
Total number of PDF views: 84 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 303 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd January 2018 - 19th September 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Mental well-being and mental illness: findings from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for England 2007

  • Scott Weich (a1), Traolach Brugha (a2), Michael King (a3), Sally McManus (a4), Paul Bebbington (a3), Rachel Jenkins (a5), Claudia Cooper (a3), Orla McBride (a6) and Sarah Stewart-Brown (a1)...
Submit a response

eLetters

Implications for Commisioning

Dr Ahmed S Huda, Consultant Psychiatrist
21 July 2011

I wish to thank the authors for an interesting piece of research thatcould have important implications for commisioning. The authors state thatmental well- being and mnetal disorder are correlated but independent. Mental disorder seems to lead to lower hedonic well-being but has a less marked effect on eudaemonic well-being. There may be a more marked effect on unemployed people with mental disorder.

The absence of a marked negative correlation between mental well-being and mental disorder and the frequently co-occuring states of mental well-being and mental disorder may have important implications for future commisioning of mental health services. There is an increasing trend for future commisioning of services to include resources to be diverted into improving population mental well-being with the assumption that will reduce mental disorder. For example, the Joint Commsioning Panel for Mental Health (see http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/policy/policyandparliamentary/projects/live/commissioning.aspx)make these recommendations.

However this paper seems to indicate that improving population mentalwell-being may have little effect on mental disorder as this can coexist with mental well-being. In other words diverting resources from treating mental disorder to improving mental well-being will not have a beneficial effect on reducing mental disorder except possibly in certain cases e.g. the unemployed.Results of studies like these need to be taken account of by those making recommendations of transferring resources into mental health prevention strategies that may have fewer benefits than envisaged particularly when when mental well-being stategies are politically more popular.
... More

Conflict of interest: None Declared

Write a reply

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *