Social Indicators Research

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 303–328 | Cite as

The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos

  • Robert A. Cummins
Article

Abstract

While life satisfaction is commonly measured as an aggregate of individual life domains, the characterisation of such domains is uncertain. This study attempts to group 173 different domains names derived from the literature under seven headings as used by the Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale (ComQol). It was found that 68% could be classified in this way. Moreover, due to the repeated use of some domain names, the ComQol classification included 83% of the total reported data. The ComQol domain data did not differ from single-item global measures of life satisfaction and the within-study variance was lower using the ComQol rather than the original domains. A hierarchy of domain satisfaction was found which was dominated by the domain of intimacy. The other ComQol domains were quite tightly clustered within a range of 1.08 standard deviations. No difference was found between normative data and data gathered from people with a chronic medical condition, but people selected on psychiatric criteria had a lower life quality, most particularly in the domain of intimacy. It is concluded that life satisfaction, and therefore subjective well-being, can be economically and validly measured through the seven ComQol domains.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Cummins
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityAustralia

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