Well-being Assessments

We have documented below a number of our other well-being assessments and recommendations closely related to our primary flourishing measure.

Longer Versions of our Flourishing Measure:

24-Item Version

We have partnered with the 100 Million Healthier Lives initiative to combine their items with those in our own flourishing measure to form a 24-item assessment with 3 items in each of the following eight domains:  1) Life Satisfaction and Life Evaluation; 2) Physical Health, Mental Health, and Physical Function 3)  Meaning and Purpose; 4) Character and Caring; 5) Relationships; 6) Community and Social Support; 7) Financial Evaluation and Stability 8) Affect. This consolidated set of items are available here.

40-Item Version

We have partnered with Aetna Inc. on the development of a well-being assessment across the following six domains: emotional health, physical health, purpose, character strengths, social connectedness, and financial security. This 40-item assessment is available here and documented in the paper:

Lee, M.T., Weziak-Bialowolska, D., Mooney, K.D., Lerner, P.J., McNeely, E., VanderWeele, T.J. (2020). Self-assessed importance of domains of flourishing: demographics and correlations with well-being. Journal of Positive Psychology, in press.

Adolescent Flourishing Measure:

We have a version of flourishing measure for adolescents (ages 12-18) that makes modifications to some of the items (2, 6, 10, and 11) from our adult flourishing measure to better account for developmental stage. That measure is available here. Based on a sample of 556 students from the Shipley School (Bryn Mawr, PA), Cronbach's alpha for the adolescent measure is 0.89 for the 12 item measure (with the financial and material stability items), or 0.91 if the the financial and material stability items are excluded. The following refence can be used for citation of the measure:

Lee, M.T., Kubzansky, L.D., and VanderWeele, T.J. (2020). Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and the Humanities. Chapter 14. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Gallup World Poll Items and Flourishing:

We have been doing some experimental work with using the Gallup World Poll items to form a flourishing score, corresponding crudely to the domains of our own flourishing measure. A description of the consturction of this flourishing score using the Gallup items is available here. The use of this score is still at an experimental stage and has not been validated.

Flourishing Years (FLRYs):

A number of measures have been proposed that incorporate both number of years of life and also various aspects of well-being, often for the purposes of medical decision-making. These include “quality-adjusted life years” (QALYs), which are calculated using the years of life remaining but weighting each year with a quality-of-life score (on a 0 to 1 scale), often determined by an individual’s ability to carry out daily activities and their freedom from pain and mental disturbance. A related metric, "well-being years" (WELLBYs), instead uses a single-item life satisfaction response for its weighting of each year of life. Alternatively, if one wanted to broaden the scope of well-being to include not only life satisfaction but also meaning and purpose, health, character, and social relationships, one could carry out the weighting by our 10-item flourishing flourishing measure to provide a broader picture of flourishing. The resulting metric, obtained by weighting each year of life by the flourishing measure, might be referred to as “flourishing years” (FLRYs). We think that this measure is useful when evaluating the extent to which flourishing can be enhanced, and over what lengths of time. However, as we have noted elsewhere, we believe that QALYs and WELLBYs and FLRYs are all problematic when used in life-and-death decision-making because they tend to discriminate against the poor, disabled and vulernable, by down-weighting their lives, since their self-reported well-being tends to be lower. Thus we would advocate for only using these measures when making decisions on enhancing well-being, and would caution against their use in life-and-death decision-making.

Recommendations on the Measurement of Well-Being:

As a result of the interdisciplinary workshop on the Measurement of Well-Being hosted by the Human Flourishing Program in 2018, we brought together a team of well-being scholars across disciplines to develop a consensus set of recommendations on the measurement of well-being for different contexts. The recommendations are shaped by (i) purpose or context of the well-being assessment and (ii) the number of items that may be available, ranging from single-item assessments to very comprehensive assessments of numerous different aspects of well-being. Further information on the recommendation is available at:

VanderWeele, T.J., Trudel-Fitzgerald, C., Allin, P., Farrelly, C., Fletcher, G., Frederick, D.E., Hall, J., Helliwell, J.F., Kim, E.S., Lauinger, W.A., Lee, M.T., Lyubomirsky, S., Margolis, S., McNeely, E., Messer, N., Tay, L., Viswanath, V., Węziak-Białowolska, D., and Kubzansky, L.D. (2020). Current recommendations on the selection of measures for well-being. Preventive Medicine, 133:106004.

The recommendations are meant to reflect the current state of knowledge and the measures available at present, and are intended to be subject to further discussion, debate and refinement over time.


Permission to Use:

The assessments are copyrighted under a Creative Commons License (CC-BY-NC). However, they can be used without permission for non-commercial purposes if proper citation is given.