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Research to Practice: A Tool for Assessing Client Well-Being


You might not know the word eudaimonia (you – duh – moan – ee - ah). But your clients are certainly are in pursuit of it. As are you. As am I.

It comes from Greek and essentially means living life well.

It's fulfillment on a deep level, more than happiness or pleasure.

A research article by Waterman et al. (2021) proposes and validates an instrument for measuring Eudaimonic Well-Being (EWB).

It's easy to understand and score and could be a great tool to use with your clients.

Conceptual Overview

Defining Well-Being

For context, EWB is one type of measurable/defined well-being in the psychology world. Two other types include Subjective Well-Being and Psychological Well-Being.

Subjective Well-Being (SWB) focuses on positive and negative emotions over time as well as one’s overall life satisfaction.

Psychological Well-Being (PWB) is a more objective approach to understanding well-being and looks at factors like autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships with others, purpose in life, and self-acceptance.

EWB has six dimensions:

  • self-discovery
  • perceived development of one’s best potentials
  • sense of purpose and meaning in life
  • investment of significant effort in pursuit of excellence
  • intense involvement in activities
  • enjoyment of activities as personally expressive.

Assessment Instrument, Scoring, and Application

Researchers have created a 21-question instrument for measuring EWB. Short, simple statements are rated on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). Scoring is easy (a few reverse codings but otherwise straightforward) and ranges from 0 to 84.

I whipped up a free pdf that guides you through the scoring and contains some reflection questions.

Download a copy of the instrument here.

Your client's actual score isn't that interesting on its own, but could be useful to track over time. Perhaps at the beginning of a multi-month coaching engagement and at the end.

Probing your client's rating on individual questions, as well as their responses to the reflection questions, is where you can generate robust discussion and insights for action.

Research Citation: Waterman, A., S. Schwartz, B. Zamboanga, R. Ravert, M. Williams, V. Agocha, S. Kim, M. Donnellan. (2010). The Questionnaire for Eudaimonic Well-Being: Psychometric properties, demographic comparisons, and evidence of validity. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 5. 41-. 10.1080/17439760903435208.

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