Quality of Life Research

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 1661–1670 | Cite as

Psychometric properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), derived from a large German community sample

  • Andreas Hinz
  • Ines Conrad
  • Matthias L. Schroeter
  • Heide Glaesmer
  • Elmar Brähler
  • Markus Zenger
  • Rüya-Daniela Kocalevent
  • Philipp Y. Herzberg



The aim of this study was to test psychometric properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), to provide normative values, and to analyze associations between life satisfaction and sociodemographic and behavioral data.


A German community sample (n = 9711) with an age range of 18–80 years was surveyed using the SWLS and several other questionnaires. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to test the dimensionality of the SWLS. Invariance across gender and age groups was tested with multiple-group CFA. Associations between SWLS, sociodemographic variables, and behavioral variables were tested with ANOVAs.


Confirmatory factorial analysis results confirmed that the SWLS is a one-dimensional scale. Measurement invariance across gender was completely confirmed, while concerning age strict measurement invariance was confirmed. The effects of gender and age on satisfaction with life were weak. Satisfaction with life was associated with fatigue (r = − .49), the mental component of quality of life (r = .45), anxiety (r = − .42), dispositional optimism (r = .41), pessimism (r = − .34), sleep quality (r = − .32), and sociodemographic factors such as marital status, income, and occupational status. Non-smokers reported higher life satisfaction than smokers.


Because of the good psychometric properties, the SWLS can be recommended for use in epidemiological research. Normative values based on a large community sample are provided.


Life satisfaction Psychometrics Measurement invariance Normative study General population 



This publication was supported by LIFE - Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Diseases, an organizational unit affiliated to the Medical faculty of the University of Leipzig. LIFE was funded by means of the European Union, by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and by funds of the Free State of Saxony within the excellence initiative (Project Numbers 713-241202, 14505/2470, 14575/2470).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Psychology and Medical SociologyUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Medicine, and Public HealthUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig & Clinic for Cognitive NeurologyUniversity Hospital LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyUniversity of MainzMainzGermany
  5. 5.Department of Applied Human StudiesUniversity of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-StendalStendalGermany
  6. 6.Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity DiseasesUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  7. 7.Institute and Polyclinic for General MedicineUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  8. 8.Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment, Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesHelmut Schmidt University of the Federal Armed ForcesHamburgGermany

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