Although numerous cross-national studies have assessed life satisfaction among adults, similar studies using adolescent samples have been rare. To address this shortage of research, a total of 1338 youth adolescents from two individualistic nations (Ireland, USA) and two collectivistic nations (China, South Korea) were administered the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS: Huebner, 1994) to assesses general life satisfaction and satisfaction with family, friends, school, self, and living environment. Responses were analyzed to assess potential cross-national differences in (a) mean levels of life satisfaction, and (b) response styles, specifically acquiescence and extreme responding. Mean scores revealed positive ratings by adolescents from all four nations across all domains, with the exceptions of satisfaction with school experiences (Ireland, South Korean, USA), living environment (China, South Korea), self (South Korea), and general life satisfaction (South Korea). Results also revealed significant response style differences across all MSLSS domains. Significant gender and gender-by-nation effects were observed for both mean score and response style differences, although the effect sizes were small. The implications of these findings were discussed, particularly with respect to “individualistic” vs. “collectivistic” cultural differences.
Adolescent life satisfactionCross-nationalResponse style differences