This study aims at evaluating the psychometric properties of a new scale to measure experienced happiness-the Measure of Happiness (MH)-in a nonclinical sample composed of Italian adults from the general population. The MH was developed not only to provide a global measure of happiness, but also and more importantly to identify the specific areas of the individual's life that are related to the experienced happiness. A total of 787 adults filled the MH and other self-report questionnaires, in order to assess the factor structure, reliability and external validity of the measure. The factorial analysis identified the following five dimensions: Psychophysics Status, Financial Status, Relational Private Sphere, Socio-Relational Sphere, and Life Perspective. The scale so defined was administered to a second independent group of 421 participants for the (multigroup) confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). A multigroup factor analysis based on gender confirmed the MH structure. The convergent validity of the MH was assessed by comparing the MH scores with a previously validated test of happiness and quality of life, as well as with dispositional constructs with which happiness is known to be negatively correlated, namely, anxiety and depression. The MH showed satisfactory psychometric properties and a strong significant positive relationship between the two measures of happiness, and a substantial negative association with the measures of anxiety and depression, supporting the validity of the MH to assess the construct of experienced happiness. The implications and possible applications of the MH are then discussed.
Keywords: dynamic; happiness; measure; well-being.