Bidimensional Emotional Health in College Students: a Comparison of Categorical and Continuous Analytic Approaches

Tyler L. Renshaw, Katie R Eklund, Sarah J. Bolognino, Isoken Adodo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study reports on an investigation of the concurrent validity of the bidimensional model of emotional health, using two analytic approaches—one categorical and the other continuous—with two subsamples of college students. Results from the categorical approach, using analyses of variance with the first subsample (n = 461), indicated that, compared to isolated emotional wellbeing and distress models, the bidimensional model of emotional health had incremental validity in relation to social connectedness, life satisfaction, physical health, and academic achievement outcomes. Findings from the continuous approach, using latent-variables path analyses with the second subsample (n = 490), indicated that the isolated emotional wellbeing model was a better predictor of the aforementioned quality-of-life outcomes than were the bidimensional and isolated distress models. Taken together, findings from both sets of analyses suggest that emotional wellbeing is a distinguishing predictor of college student outcomes. Implications for the theory and practice of mental health work at the college level are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-694
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Bidimensional emotional health
  • Distress
  • Dual-factor mental health
  • Emotion
  • Two-continua mental health
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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