Psychometric properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), derived from a large German community sample
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.
KeywordsLife 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.
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 was obtained from all participants.
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