Psychological Well-Being (PWB)

Age: Adult

Duration: 3 to 5 minutes (18-item), 6 to 8 minutes (42-item)


Reading Level: 6th-8th grade


The PWB was developed by psychologist Carol D. Ryff. The scale measures six aspects of wellbeing and happiness which include:

  • Autonomy: (e.g., “I have confidence in my opinions, even if they are contrary to the general consensus”); 

  • Environmental Mastery: (e.g., “In general, I feel I am in charge of the situation in which I live”); 

  • Personal Growth: (e.g., “I think it is important to have new experiences that challenge how you think about yourself and the world”); 

  • Positive Relations With Others: (e.g., “People would describe me as a giving person, willing to share my time with others”);

  • Purpose in Life: (e.g., “Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them”); and 

  • Self-acceptance: (e.g., “When I look at the story of my life, I am pleased with how things have turned out”).


 (Ryff et al., 2007; adapted from Ryff, 1989).


While the original PWB consisted of 42-items, below is the shortened 18-item version.


Respondents rate how strongly they agree or disagree with 18 statements using a 7-point scale (1 = strongly agree; 7 = strongly disagree).​

The items are balanced so several items are reverse-scored during scoring. Higher scores indicate greater wellbeing, and separate subscale scores are derived by summing up all items within each subscale.


The psychological Well-Being scale contains the following response format: 1 = strongly agree; 2 = somewhat agree; 3 = a little agree; 4 = neither agree or disagree; 5 = a little disagree; 6 = somewhat disagree; 7 = strongly disagree.


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02 6061 1144

48 Norton Street

Leichhardt NSW 2040


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