Gera Anderson


Existing models and measures of well-being tend to be based on an individualistic, western worldview. In addition, when cross-cultural comparisons are made, diverse cultural groups within the same national border are typically not examined. The Multidimensional Well-Being Assessment (MWA) was developed because of the absence of a culturally relevant measure to assess the well-being of those whose worldview is more consistent with collectivism. Although much attention has been given to detrimental forces in the lives of African Americans, less consideration has been given to assessing well-being in this population. In this study, a nonrandom sample was used to examine the validity of the MWA. In addition, several demographic variables were considered to explore the relationship of the dimensions of well-being contained on the MWA. A total of the 169 persons who identified as African-American or as a Black person with African ancestry participated in the study. The MWA showed strong reliability on nearly all dimensional subscales, as well as a pattern of expected significant positive and negative correlations with multiple validation measures. Significant correlations between demographic variables (i.e., age, education, income, and gender) and several dimensions on the MWA were also found. This study has implications for future research and the MWA shows promising results with regard to its psychometric properties. It is a potentially useful instrument to utilize in research that seeks to deepen understanding of life satisfaction and wellness in diverse populations, with particular attention to unique findings within the African American population.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Well-being -- Cross cultural studies; African Americans -- Mental health; Positive psychology -- Case studies

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Harrell, Shelly P.;