Article Published – Short SWPS

With the help of my talented colleagues, our article about the 7-item Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS-SF) was published in Global Health Promotion.

Title: Development and field test of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale – short form (SWPS-SF) in U.S. college students, (PMID: 35897155 DOI: 10.1177/17579759221102193) by Craig M. Becker1 , Hui Bian1, Ryan J. Martin1, Kerry Sewell1, Michael Stellefson2 and Beth Chaney2

Abstract: Survey research is important for understanding health and improving practice among health professions. However, survey research can have drawbacks, such as overuse and excessively lengthy questionnaires that burden respondents. These issues lead to poor response rates and incomplete questionnaires. Low and incomplete response rates result in missing data and reduced sample size, damaging the value, usability and generalizability of the information collected. To address issues related to response rates and improve health research, shorter surveys are recommended because they impose less of a burden on respondents and are useful with larger populations. Health- related surveys also often focus on the factors leading to ill health without dedicating equal attention to factors supporting positive health. This study developed and tested a short form (SF) of the validated Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS), which measures causes of health (rather than causes of disease), using responses from 2052 college students. The participants answered questions about their demographics and completed the SWPS and a perceived health assessment. Statistical tests demonstrated the SWPS-SF had significant relationships with the full SWPS, health status, and Grade Point Average (GPA). Statistical tests were also used to establish cutoff scores that had a high true positive and low false negative rate. These cutoff scores demonstrated a relationship of higher performance and better health. These promising results suggest this short test can provide valid information without burdening the respondents. Authors recommend additional tests be completed to validate the SWPS-SF.

This scale provides a helpful screen tool that can accurately assess health, that is well-being not just the absence of disease. While more testing is needed, the article noted, “This study developed a short form of the SWPS, and initial evidence suggests it can provide valuable data for participants, health professionals, and health researchers. This short, complementary tool will provide data about health-causing actions, address the pathogenic bias, and improve response rates due to its short format.” The full article can be accessed on PubMed here.

The SWPS-SF provides a quick way to screen for peoples behaviors that indicate health improvement from beneficial, physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, and environmental actions. Feedback, as can be provided to professionals and individuals, has been shown to help people improve behaviors and it provides professionals with information about how to nudge them toward better actions. The data can also be used to help design a health promoting environment.

The SWPS-SF is a tool that when used should help generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to talking with you.


Craig M. Becker, PhD

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!


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“Finance adds No value”

I recently listened to the April 2022 Deming Institute podcast, “In Their Own Words”, entitled and linked: Kevin Cahill’s Reflections on Dr. Deming and the Deming Institute (April 2022). Andrew Stotz hosted. Andrew Stotz is an awarded, successful financial analyst.

Mr. Stotz indicated how Deming’s work had impacted his thinking and career. Deming also provides a solid basis for all I do with health. His ideas about continual improvement of the process so the product takes care of itself and systems appreciation are at the basis of all I have done. Personal and planetary health are interconnected and as we continually improve the lifestyle process with an understanding of how it impacts everyone and everything – we can achieve the desirable aim of regenerative communities by living regenerative lifestyles. You will see Dr. Deming mentioned often in multiple posts on this blog and he has also been a basis for many of my peer reviewed published articles.

The part that caught my attention in the recent Deming institute podcast was when Andrew Stotz, despite being a financial analyst, said, “Finance adds no value” He went on to explian:

“Finance adds no value….Ultimately it’s the products and the service, and finance is a support function just as human resources… it’s when finance starts being the head of the business that you get into trouble…Never make the right finance decision over the right business decision.”

Andrew Stotz

This may be a stretch, however, to me his statement that finances cannot provide value is similar to how I have adopted what I learned from Dr. Deming. As I have noted, Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant! if improvement is the goal. He even states, good finances are a by-product, and cannot be the aim, just as research has shown prevention is the by-product of good health, not its aim. Prevention and problem solving only stop bad things from happening but do not make things better than where we were before the problem occurred. We could not get healthy after COVID occurred, we had to create a better life first and the protection against COVID from good health was a beneficial by-product. Those without co-morbidities have done better.

Mr. Stotz comments about finances by explaining that money desires should not drive actions, because earning money is the necessary result or by-product. These ideas were outlined in this post, Money Is a Lagging Not a Leading Indicator which demonstrated that

Money must follow, it cannot lead.

Businesses, as Kevin Cahill explains, often want to just seem to be keeping up so they go with the new management fads or “the flavor of the month” rather than maintaining a constant aim. As he notes, this does not work out well, especially over the long term. This linked 4/24/2022 Close to Home comic humorously captures this idea about just doing something because it is a current idea.

Mr. Cahill then provides a great example of the outcomes from a focus on value or money when he contrasts Apple and Enron. One company was guided by financial statements while the other was guided by providing value. Apple, which he cites from Walter Isaacson’s book, Steve Jobs, says Apple had the aim or mission to create “insanely great products”. In contrast, the now defunct Enron’s mission was to make more money. The result: Apple is worth a trillion dollars and Enron went bankrupt.

In looking back, I realized I have cited Steve Jobs and things he has done almost as often as I have cited Dr. Deming. To me both provide great examples of how we can help generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

I hope you listen to the Deming podcast and that it motivates you to study Deming’s methods. Deming was my inspiration and it has helped me a lot in my career. Please share what you learn and how you implement his ideas to benefit everyone and everything so “everybody wins” as Dr. Deming used to say!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!


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Become by Doing

We become what we are by doing or we are what we do, repeatedly. We can choose this – however this takes effort. (see “Spooky Simple” Post)

As Huberman discovered:

Beliefs do not change our actions, Actions change our beliefs.

Andrew Huberman, PhD – Stanford

Better Life Automatically

The most amazing realization from these insights is we can continually get better, by doing what helps us become better. Better yet, this can be what we do automatically (see What We Do Without Thinking) if we create beneficial habits. This can happen, for the most part.

Habits are what we do, without thinking because it is what we have repeatedly done in the past. Consciously we can chose what we do now, and over time it will be what we have done which become our habits.

The best way to develop habits is with help. The best help we can have is to design our environment so it cues, supports, encourages and reinforces our desired choices. Have healthy food at home, prepared, if you want to work out in the morning, sleep in your workout clothes, have a friend relying on you and so many more ways.

While some may see this as a shortcut health and well-being, it is not – it is a direct route, not a short cut and it will take time. The time however can be used effectively by using some simple hacks such as those mentioned above (this also means you have become a time multiplier, see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…)

Outcome Measures Drive Action

Another helpful tool will be how you measure what you do. It is best to focus on measuring your actions or your process and how it has improved. Measure and highlight what you do well – the good conversation you had, the walk you took, the time you exhibited patience, the time you helped another before they asked, or the times you acted as you knew you should. All those times the real you shined – then do it again and again. In time, it will be automatic and you will be the person you desire. Measure what you do well, rinse and repeat!

Theory for Good

Theories are predictions that explain phenomena and how things interact and the expected result. Theories should be able to explain the past and predict the future. Theories however have mostly been used to describe and explain bad things, not desired good things. We need a theory for a good life that can theoretically describe how to create a better life for oneself and the world. Selfish, Selfless, Synergy is the answer which is the practice of paneugenesis.

Assistance can help, an environment that reliably and objectively provides good options will help. Find good, supportive friends and build an environment that encourages you to generate comprehensive improvements. When I went to the National Wellness Conferences, I was always motivated by the good in all because the environment supported the creation of net-positive pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits.

My career has now been dedicated to making the world like the week I used to spend at the National Wellness Conference (see National Wellness Conference – Amazing!). I learned that when we all worked together to generate comprehensive improvement, everyone and everything benefits.

What we need is a reliable, objective way to to guide us on this path so we design environments and lifestyles that generate comprehensive benefits. Wisdom of the commons can help. Together we can work on this project of improvement, please share how you help generate comprehensive improvements.


Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!


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Short SWPS Article Published in American Journal of Health Education

One of my main professional accomplishments has been the development, validation and use of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). I developed this tool to measure the presence of health and its active creation. As has been shown in this research, those who are doing the most to actively promote their health in multiple dimensions, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, physical, and environmental on this scale, score highest. Results document that those doing the most to promote health, have the highest health and higher life satisfaction.

I developed the SWPS because my review and that of many professionals agreed that health measurements were inaccurate because they were measuring and assessing for the absence of disease and risk factors, rather than the presence of health. This scale measures actions to promote health, which also can be referred to as salutogenic, or health causing actions.

The research with this scale also supported the idea that health was multidimensional, that is, many factors cumulatively contribute to an overall status of health rather than the traditional unidimensional attempt to measure health. The traditional measurement of health is unidimensional because it measures if people are engaging in risky behaviors or actions that cause disease. Traditional scales assume if you are not engaging in risky actions, you are healthy. As most of us know, just because we are not doing a specific wrong thing, does not mean we are doing the right things.

The SWPS uses the salutogenic or health origins paradigm rather than the traditional pathogenic, or disease causing paradigm. The video below explains more about pathogenesis and salutogenesis, specifically how pathogenesis is designed for acute, or short-term care, while salutogenesis focuses on regular lifestyle actions.

The scale I developed, tested, and validated with many helpful colleagues beaome the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). The SWPS assessed for health promoting actions in the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, and environmental areas. The research has shown that the more people engage in the health promoting actions measured, the better their health and the higher their life satisfaction. I also validated it for young adults, working adults and with an Arabic population. An older adult version has shown to be helpful but has not been validated yet.

The scale is a 25 item 7 dimension measurement. To make it more usable, with my GA, Austin Odom and talented colleagues, Hui Bia, PhD, Ryan Martin, PhD and Kerry Sewell, we developed and tested a short 7-item version of the scale. This test indicated it was a good test and we published the article in the American Journal of Health Education in 2021. The article, Initial Assessment of a 7-Item Well-being Scale (SWPS-SF) among a Sample of College Students was published online in June, 2021 here. . Here is the abstract:


Background: Shorter validated health assessment tools are needed. The validated 25-item Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS) measures health status through assessment of engagement in multidimensional health behaviors.

Purpose: To do an initial assessment of the Short Form Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS-SF).

Methods: A convenience sample of 91 college students completed an online survey that included, the SWPS, the SWLS (Satisfaction with Life Survey) and the PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire 9). Correlation analyses among these scales were completed. In addition, a chi-square test was performed to examine the characteristics of SWPS-SF including sensitivity and specificity in predicting GPA.

Results: There were significant relationships between SWPS-SF and the SWPS and the SWLS. The association between the SWPS-SF and PHQ-9 was not significant (r = −.20, p = .052). Analysis indicated that participants scoring over the 20.5 cutoff on the SWPS-SF were four times more likely to have GPAs of 3.0 or greater.

Discussion: The SWPS-SF is reasonably representative of the full SWPS, suggesting it offers a helpful method to do quick, accurate assessments of health behavior engagement and health status, more research is recommended.

Translation to Health Education Practice: The SWPS-SF enables employers, universities, hospitals and schools to perform quick, accurate complementary health status assessments.

Overall, the SWPS measures engagement in net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions that generate comprehensive improvements for everyone and everything. I look forward to hearing how you engage in interactions to generate comprehensive improvements for everyone and everything.

If you are interested, below are a few of the articles related to some of the research related to the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS).

  • Becker, C. M., Glascoff, M. A., Mitchell, T., Durham, T., & Arnold, W. (2007). Assessing Perceived Health and Associated Health Promoting Behaviors: An Investigation of Methods used to Assess Health Status. Journal of Applied Social Psychology37(2), 227–242.
  • Becker, C. M., Dolbier, C. L., Durham, T., Glascoff, M. A., & Adams, T. B. (2008). Development and Preliminary Evaluation of the Validity and Reliability of a Positive Health Scale. American Journal of Health Education39(1), 34–41.
  • Becker, C. M., Whetstone, L., Glasscoff, M., & Moore, J. (2008). Evaluation of the Reliability and Validity of an Adult Version of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). American Journal of Health Education39(6), 322–328.
  • Becker, C. M., Cooper, N., Atkins, K., & Martin, S. (2009). What Helps Students Thrive? An Investigation of Student Engagement and Student Performance. Recreational Sports Journal33, 139–149.
  • Becker, C. M., Moore, J., Whetstone, L., Glascoff, M., & Chaney, E. (2009). Validity Evidence for the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). American Journal of Health Behavior33(4), 455–465.
  • Al, H., Becker, C. M., Mansour-Hamdan, A., Al-Shuaibi, J., & Tharwat, H. (2013). Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale: Validation of the Arabic Version. American Journal of Health Education44(4), 229–234.
  • Anderson, L. M., Moore, J. B., Hayden, B. M., & Becker, C. M. (2014). Test-retest reliability of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). Health Education Research73(1), 101–108.
  • Becker, C. M., Chaney, E., Shores, K., & Glascoff, M. (2015). The Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale for Older Adults (SWPS-OA). American Journal of Health Education46, 293–300.



Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!


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From Pathogenesis to Salutogenesis for Public Health

I had the good fortune of being paired with Dr. Leslie Hoglund at Old Dominion University for a presentation at Nuisance Flooding Conference in April of 2021. Later that year,  at the 2021 Public Health Innovation Summit & Showcase, she made this powerful 14 minute presentation, From Pathogenesis to Salutogenesis: Unraveling & Redesigning Public Health. In this presentation she explains why and how health professionals should focus on generating more good, not just less bad. I encourage you watch her presentation because these ideas apply to all of us.

Dr. Hoglund explained how and why using a salutogenic approach would be more effective for public health efforts at generating comprehensive improvements by focusing on creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless synergistic interactions through their activities to promote health. If you agree and like it, I encourage you to share this with everyone and especially all the health professionals you know.


Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!


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