The Personal Wellbeing Index-School Children (PWI-SC) is a self-report questionnaire measuring quality of life (QoL) or subjective wellbeing in school-aged children.

Terms of use

The PWI-SC is free to use subject to the standard conditions that the measure should not be altered or amended and there should be no cost to the end user.

Scales / Subscales

There are no subscales of the PWI-SC scale, but it contains 7 items asking “How happy are you ..?” in the following quality of life areas: standard of living, personal health, achieving in life, personal relationships, personal safety, feeling part of the community, and future security. There is also 1 optional item asking about ‘life as a whole’. These items are answered on an 11-point scale ranging from ‘not at all happy’ (0) to ‘very, very happy’ (10).


It is recommended that the use of the PWI-SC is for primary and secondary school aged children. 

The PWI-SC was adapted from the PWI-A, which was designed for adults. There is also an adaptation for use with with mild learning disabilities, the PWI-ID.

We are not currently aware of any evidence regarding the accessibility of this measure for children and young people with learning disabilities. The PWI-SC was developed in Australia, and to our knowledge no study has been published regarding the suitability of the measure for children and young people in the UK or across different ethnic or linguistic groups.

Please do get in touch at CORC@annafreud.org if you are aware of any information that may be of interest to users of the questionnaires as we may be able to update our webpage to include it.


The PWI-SC manual includes a section on administration of the measure including guidance on procedures to follow - which you can access here.

Working remotely

Whilst we are not aware of any digital versions, the PWI-SC can be used digitally and incorporated into electronic data collection systems.

Please review the CORC guidance on using measures remotely, which you can access here.

Scoring & Interpretation

The developers of the PWI-SC emphasise the importance of checking responses for variation across items, suggesting that respondents who answer all items at the top or bottom of the scale should be eliminated from analysis of data. This is because lack of variation may indicate that the respondent has not understood the task and this may impact the meaningfulness of the responses provided.

For data analysis, they recommend standardising responses on a scale of 0 to 100 by multiplying them by 10 as this allows for comparison with other results.

The optional item on life as a whole should be analysed separately from the other items.

Further details on scoring and interpretation are available in the PWI-SC manual here

Psychometric properties




Internal consistency

Degree to which similar items within a scale correlate with each other.

No information available at present.

Construct validity

Degree to which the questionnaire actually measures the specific trait or attribute it is intended to measure.

No information available at present.


Test-retest reliability

Degree to which the same respondents have the same score after period of time when trait shouldn't have changed.

No information available at present.



Convergent validity

Degree to which two measures of constructs that theoretically should be related are in fact related.

No information available at present.


Concurrent validity

Correlation of the measure with others measuring same concept.

A study measuring subjective wellbeing in Australian adolescents found scores on the PWI-SC fell within the Australian adult normative range (Tomyn & Cummings, 2011). Further research provided additional evidence for this, suggesting that the PWI-SC and PWI-A measure the same underlying construct in different populations (Tomyn et al., 2013).

Discriminant validity

Lack of correlation with opposite concepts.

No information available at present.




PWI-SC has been translated into several languages which are available here: https://www.acqol.com.au/instruments

Useful resources

Personal Wellbeing Index – School Children (PWI-SC) English manual: https://www.acqol.com.au/uploads/pwi-sc/PWI-SC-english-4th%20Ed_Final..pdf

Personal Wellbeing Index – School Children (PWI-SC) Cantonese manual: https://www.acqol.com.au/uploads/pwi-sc/pwi-sc-chinese-cantonese.pdf


Cummins, R. A., & Lau, A. (2005a). Manual: Personal wellbeing index – School children (3rd edn). Resource document. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University.

Cummins, A., & Lau, A. (2005b). Manual: Personal wellbeing index – School children, Cantonese translation (3rd edn). Resource document. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University.

Cummins, R. A., Lau, A. L. D., Davey, G., & McGillivray, J. (2010).  Measuring Subjective Wellbeing: The Personal Wellbeing Index  - Intellectual Disability. In: R. Kober (Ed.), Enhancing the quality of life of people with intellectual disability: From theory to practice (pp 33 - 46). New York: Springer

Tomyn, A. J., & Cummins, R. A. (2011). The subjective wellbeing of high-school students: Validating the Personal Wellbeing Index—School Children. Social Indicators Research, 101, 405-418.

Tomyn, A. J., Fuller Tyszkiewicz, M. D., & Cummins, R. A. (2013). The personal wellbeing index: psychometric equivalence for adults and school children. Social indicators research, 110, 913-924.

Vaqué Crusellas, C. (2014). Personal Well-being Index: School Children. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2151

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