Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Bradley Donohue

Second Committee Member

Shane Kraus

Third Committee Member

Kimberly Barchard

Fourth Committee Member

John Mercer

Number of Pages



Background: The Mental Health Optimization Checklist (MHOC) is a proposed measure which utilizes the theory of optimization science to improve mental health outcomes. Psychopathology is typically viewed dichotomously (i.e., does or does not have a disorder) or through cut-off criterion (i.e., 4 out of 5 symptoms, total scores), whereas optimization views psychopathology on a continuum on which patients can optimize factors impacting their mental health. Optimization theory is important for reducing stigma around mental health treatment and the MHOC offers itself as an informative psycho-diagnostic tool.

Methods: An undergraduate student sample (n = 682) completed the MHOC and the Symptom Checklist 90 Revised (SCL-90-R) via Qualtrics. This study evaluated the content and structure of the MHOC and compared it to a traditional measure of psychopathology, the SCL-90-R (Derogatis & Savitz, 1999). Specifically, researchers (1) examined the LPOC’s internal consistency, (2) examined its validity, (3) conducted item analyses in order to determine how the internal consistency and validity of the MHOC could be improved, and (4) conducted an item- level factor analysis.

Results: The MHOC was found to have high internal consistency with a coefficient alpha of .96. Convergent validity between the SCL90-R and the LPOC was moderate, r(680) = -.40, p < .001, 95% CI [-.46, -.33]. In item analyses, all values of alpha-if-item-deleted were .96. The scree test, the MAP test, and parallel analysis suggested three to five factors, and four factors were extracted and interpreted as Emotional and Cognitive Resiliency, Relationships, Habits, and Self- Discipline.

Conclusions: The MHOC was evaluated for its utility as a clinical measure to identify psychopathology. It was found to have good reliability and validity, and it is expected to be an effective tool for measuring psychopathology using an optimization model.


assessment tool; college student; Measure; MHOC; Optimization; Positive Psychology


Clinical Psychology

File Format


File Size

8416 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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