Mental health literacy questionnaire-short version for adults (MHLq-SVa): validation study in China, India, Indonesia, Portugal, Thailand, and the United States

Luísa Campos*, Pedro Dias, Marisa Costa, Laura Rabin, Rona Miles, Sumi Lestari, Rania Feraihan, Neera Pant, Natthaphansan Sriwichai, Waraporn Boonchieng, Luxi Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mental Health Literacy (MHL) has become a focus of research in recent decades, as a prerequisite for early identification and intervention for mental health problems. Although several instruments have been developed for assessing MHL, there is a need for brief and psychometrically sound measures to capture important aspects of MHL in large and diverse adult samples. The present study aimed to: (1) provide a revised and shorter version of a previously validated questionnaire for assessing MHL; and (2) examine the psychometric properties of the MHLq-SVa in student samples from six different countries (China, India, Indonesia, Portugal, Thailand, and United States). Methods:: The study involved 2180 senior school and undergraduate students, aged between 17 and 25 years old, from China, India, Indonesia, Portugal, Thailand, and the United States. Participants responded to the Mental Health Literacy Questionnaire for young adults (MHLq-ya), in their native language, following its translation and adaptation for each culture. The MHLq-ya comprises 29 items, organized into four dimensions: Knowledge of mental health problems; Erroneous beliefs/stereotypes; First-aid skills and help-seeking behavior; Self-help strategies. Confirmatory factor analyses and internal consistency analyses were performed on the combined data. Results:: Data from the different countries supported a shorter version of the questionnaire (MHLq-SVa), composed of 16 items that fit with previously defined dimensions. Internal consistency and between-factor correlations further supported the adequacy of the instrument’s psychometric properties. Conclusion:: The study provided preliminary support for the construct validity and reliability of the MHLq-SVa as a measure for assessing MHL in young adults from six different countries and languages. Future studies are needed to further validate the measure and undertake multicultural comparisons of MHL in diverse samples from around the globe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number713
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Mental Health literacy
  • Portugal
  • Questionnaire
  • Short version
  • Thailand
  • Undergraduate students
  • USA
  • Validation


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