The Positive Event Scale: Measuring uplift frequency and intensity in an adult sample

Darryl Maybery, Jennifer Jones-Ellis, Jason Neale, Alexandra Arentz

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    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Of the limited number of studies employing positive event (uplift) measures none have published detailed psychometric information about the scale that was used (Maybery and Graham, 2001, Stress and Health 17, pp. 91'104). Building on previous work with university students and employing conceptually distinct measurement strategies (i.e. measuring event frequency and intensity), this paper examined the component structure, concurrent validity and reliability of an uplift measure designed for an adult middle aged population. The 373 participants were 73% female, largely in paid work (72%), in permanent relationships (69%), 62% having children and the sample having a mean age of 41.83 years (SD=16.14). Principal component analyses of separate frequency and intensity scores from 43 uplifts highlighted generally consistent component structures. The nine uplift factors were friends, social events, work, interactions with workers, with supervisor, spouse/ partner, parents, children and household. There were moderate to strong correlations between frequency and intensity scores for each subscale. The subscales had very good reliabilities and weak to moderate correlations with well-being instruments (life satisfaction and positive affect) and selected personality variables, and as expected there were no correlations with distress or negative affect. The results highlight a generally clear uplift factor structure that includes a range of interpersonal, social and work subscales from the positive event domains. The findings extend previous research by improving the conceptual understanding of the sources of uplifting events for individuals and provide a valid and reliable measure for future research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-83
    Number of pages23
    JournalSocial Indicators Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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