Capturing Complete Mental Health Among Adolescents: Investigation of Covitality Latent Class Typologies
Utilizing a strengths-based framework, the proposed study sought to build upon and respond to recommendations in the literature regarding conducting more holistic assessments of adolescent mental health. First, an overview of various models of positive based mental health and adolescent development frameworks, including the newly developed model of covitality—a combination of 12 core positive psychological schemas that are associated with student’s positive mental health—is provided. Using a diverse sample of 12,279 adolescents from 17 high schools in California, this study implemented a three-part mixture model (latent profile and class analysis) to investigate underlying mental health profiles among adolescents. Specifically, profiles underlying student covitality were first explored in detail. Subsequently, a latent class investigation of adolescent psychosocial distress was conducted using ratings of externalization and internalization symptoms. Next, a dual-component measurement model was implemented to provide an example of a potential application of the covitality construct as part of a dual-factor method for screening for complete mental health among adolescents. A three-step model for inclusion of covariates was also implemented to better understand how students from different sociocultural backgrounds and schools might uniquely experience mental health. Post-hoc investigations of adolescent risk behavior, quality of school life, and academic achievement are also reported for each covitality profile. Implications for researchers and practitioners interested in conducting strengths-based investigations of complete mental health among adolescents from a dual-component framework are provided.