Positive Event (uplift) Scale for Middle Aged Adults (frequency and severity)

Author of Tool: 

Mayberry, D. J.

Key references: 

Maybery D.J., Jones-Ellis J. Neale, J. & Arentz, A. (2006). The Positive Event Scale: Measuring uplift frequency and intensity in an adult sample. Social Indicators Research. 78(1), 61-83.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Measures positive event emotions (uplifts)


In the 1980s, using the cognitive transactual model of stress, Lazarus and colleagues highlighted daily events (hassles) as better predictors of negative psychological and somatic outcomes than major life events (Kanner et al., 1981). Lazarus’s cognitive appraisal (transactual) theory suggests that individuals cognitively evaluate or appraise environmental events in relation to their own person-related characteristics, thereby determining the type and quality of the emotional response (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984; Lazarus, 1991, 1999). While day-to-day negative events, or hassles, have been central to the primary appraisal concept, until recently, little emphasis has focused upon the primary appraisal of positive events – more commonly known as uplifts. This Positive Event Uplift Scale measures this concept.


Principal component analyses of separate frequency and intensity scores from 43 uplifts highlighted generally consistent component structures. The nine uplift factors were friends, social events, work, interactions with workers, with supervisor, spouse/partner, parents, children and household. There were moderate to strong correlations between frequency and intensity scores for each subscale. The subscales had very good reliabilities and weak to moderate correlations with well-being instruments (life satisfaction and positive affect) and selected personality variables, and as expected there were no correlations with distress or negative affect. The results highlight a generally clear uplift factor structure that includes a range of interpersonal, social and work subscales from the positive event domains. The findings extend previous research by improving the conceptual understanding of the sources of uplifting events for individuals and provide a valid and reliable measure for future research.



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