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Five Factor Wellness Inventory (5F-Wel) 

The 5F-Wel measures the factors in the Indivisible Self Evidence Based Model of Wellness (IS-Wel). These include the single higher order Wellness factor, five second-order factors, and 17 discrete wellness scales. These scales are measured using 73 scored items. Experimental scales and items beyond these 73 include an optional 6-item perceived safety scale. Demographic items are also included.

Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses support each of the scales – 17 discrete factors, 5 second-order factors, and a higher order wellness factor. Alphas for the 5F-Wel second order factor scales range from .90 to .94, with an alpha of .94 for Total Wellness, the single higher order factor.

The 5F-Wel is not the same as the Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle (WEL). The items and psychometric properties of the WEL and 5F-Wel are quite different. The WEL cannot be scored and interpreted using the 5F-Wel factors. Such use is totally inaccurate. and there is no instrument called the "Five Factor Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle."

The 5F-Wel is available for clinical and research purposes from Mindgarden.com.

Factors of the 5F-Wel

Creative Self

  • Thinking. Being mentally active, open-minded; the ability to be creative and experimental; having a sense of curiosity; ability to apply problem-solving strategies to social conflicts.
  • Emotions. Being aware of or in touch with one's feelings; ability to express appropriately positive and negative feelings.
  • Control  Beliefs about your competence, confidence, and personal mastery; beliefs that you can usually achieve the goals you set out for yourself.
  • Work. Satisfaction with one's work; feeling that one's skills are used appropriately; feeling one can manage one's workload; feeling a sense of job security; feeling appreciated in the work one does.
  • Positive Humor. Being able to laugh at one's own mistakes; the ability to use humor to accomplish even serious tasks.

Coping Self

  • Leisure. Satisfaction with one's time spent in leisure; feeling that one's skills are used appropriately.
  • Stress Management. On-going self-assessment of one's coping resources; ability to organize/manage resources such as time, energy, setting limits.
  • Self- Worth.  Accepting who and what one is, positive qualities along with imperfections; a sense of being genuine within oneself and with others.
  • Realistic Beliefs. Ability to process information and perceive reality accurately; absence of persistent irrational beliefs and thoughts and need for perfection.

Social Self

  • Friendship. Social relationships that involve a connection with others individually or in community, but which do not have a marital, sexual, or familial commitment; having a capacity to trust others; having empathy for others; feeling understood by others.
  • Love. The ability to be intimate, trusting, self-disclosing with another; the ability to give as well as express affection with significant others and to accept others without conditions.

Essential Self

  • Spirituality. Personal beliefs and behaviors practiced as part of the recognition that we are more than the material aspects of mind and body; belief in a higher power; hope and optimism; practice of worship, prayer, and/or meditation; purpose in life; compassion for others; moral values; and transcendence (a sense of oneness with the universe).
  • Gender Identity. Satisfaction with and feeling supported in one's gender; ability to be androgynous.
  • Cultural Identity. Satisfaction with and feeling supported in one's cultural identity; cultural assimilation.
  • Self-Care. Taking responsibility for one's wellness through self-care and safety habits that are preventive in nature.

Physical Self

  • Nutrition. Eating a nutritionally balanced diet; maintaining a normal weight (within 15% of the ideal).
  • Exercise. Engaging in sufficient physical activity through exercise or in one's work to keep in good physical condition.

Total Wellness

General level of well being; composite score comprised of all items on the 5F-Wel.

Special Scales (Experimental)

  • Perceived Safety. The extent to which you believe you are safe in your home, neighborhood, and community, and the extent to which you feel safe from harm by terrorists.
  • Context. The extent to which your wellness is influenced, in a conscious manner, by individual, institutional, and global contexts, and the extent to which you are aware of and intentional in responding positively to changes in wellness over time.

Separate Versions of the 5F-Wel 

Age Versions 

  • Children - 3rd grade reading level
  • Adolescents - 6th grade reading level
  • Teenagers and adults - 9th grade reading level

Cultural Adaptations are translated into multiple languages for use by researchers in other countries. 

  • Turkish
  • Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Lithuanian
  • German

Important Note

The IS-Wel was developed through structural equation modeling. The factors are assessed using the Five Factor Wellness Inventory (5F-Wel; Myers & Sweeney, 2005).

In the past Mindgarden.com has inadvertently distributed inaccurate information about the 5F-Wel which has caused confusion and inaccuracies for researchers and clinicians. We wish to provide correct citations and ask that you share this information with others who may be studying wellness or providing wellness counseling.  Briefly:

  1. The 73-item Five Factor Wellness Inventory (5F-Wel) was developed through structural equation modeling. It uses a 4-point Likert scale for responses and a linear transformation to report scores to individuals. The scales are factors, and the items have all been subjected to rigorous testing. The factor scales should be capitalized in publications per the APA Manual. The scales measure the concepts in the empirically-derived Indivisible Self model of wellness.

  2. The 123-item Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle Inventory (WEL) was developed from a theoretical model. It uses a 5-point Likert scale for responses and scores are reported as a percentage of 100. It is based in the theoretical Wheel of Wellness model, has never been factor analyzed, and contains a number of items with poor psychometric properties, yet which may be clinically useful with individual clients.

  3. There is no instrument called the “Five Factor Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle.” If you have materials with this title, please destroy them immediately. Contact Mindgarden.com for correct materials.

The WEL and the 5F-Wel are distinctly different instruments. The items and scales are not identical. It is not appropriate to administer the WEL and then use the 5F-Wel scales to describe results; to do so will result in both inaccurate information and potentially inaccurate conclusions. Since the scoring scales are different for the two measures, using the norms for one to interpret scores on the other will lead to totally invalid conclusions. The 5F-Wel has stronger psychometric properties and is the preferred instrument for research purposes.

For more information about the 5F-Wel, please review our references. Note that there are several cultural adaptations of the 5F-Wel. If you know of or have authored wellness manuscripts using the 5F-Wel, we would like to include them on the website and ask that you send pdf copies as our plan is to have more pdf linked articles in the future. 

Helpful citations

Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (Eds.). (2005). Wellness in counseling: Theory, research, and practice. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (2008). Wellness counseling: The evidence base for practice. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86, 482-493.

Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J (2005). The Five Factor Wellness Inventory. Palo Alto, CA: Mindgarden, Inc.

Myers, J. E., Sweeney, T. J., & Witmer, M. (2000). Counseling for wellness: A holistic model for treatment planning. Journal of Counseling and Development, 78(3), 251-266.

Myers, J. E., Witmer, J. M., & Sweeney, T. J (1996). The Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle Inventory. Palo Alto, CA: Mindgarden, Inc.

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