Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 183–197 | Cite as

The Psychometric Evaluation of the Satisfaction with Life Scale Using a Nationally Representative Sample of China

  • Xinwen Bai
  • Chiahuei Wu
  • Rui Zheng
  • Xiaopeng RenEmail author
Research Paper


This study examined the psychometric properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) in terms of internal consistency reliability, factorial validity, and measurement invariance across gender, age, residential region (metropolitan area/county town/rural area), educational level, and household income with a nationally representative sample of 4,795 participants in China. The percentages of male (47.0%) and female (53.0%) participants were about equal, and the mean age was 38.56 years (SD = 11.87). The results show that the SWLS has a high internal consistency reliability, a one-factor structure (with a wording effect on Items 4 and 5), strict invariance across gender, partial strict invariance across education (Items 1, 2 and 3), and partial strong invariance across age, income (Items 1, 2 and 3) and residential region (Items 1 and 2). The non-invariance of some items across age and region is discussed in terms of the rapid economic and social transitions of China in the past three decades.


Measurement invariance Satisfaction with life scale Life satisfaction Subjective well-being 



This study was supported in part by the Young Scientists Fund of the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. O8CX025002) and the Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KSCX2- YW-R-130; KKCX1-YW-05). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinwen Bai
    • 1
  • Chiahuei Wu
    • 2
  • Rui Zheng
    • 1
  • Xiaopeng Ren
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Work PsychologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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