Advertisement

Psychometric Evaluation of the Malay Satisfaction With Life Scale

  • Viren SwamiEmail author
  • Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
Article

Abstract

The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) is one of the most widely used scales for the measurement of subjective well-being across the globe, but no satisfactory version exists for use among Malay-speaking populations. The present study reports on the translation of a new Malay SWLS and examines its psychometric properties in a community sample of 816 Malay and 738 Chinese participants from Malaysia. Results showed that the Malay SWLS had good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.83). Confirmatory factor analysis showed support for a unidimensional factor structure which remained invariant across sex and ethnic group. These results suggest that the Malay SWLS is a valid and reliable measure of life satisfaction for Malay-speaking samples, and extends the list of available scales for measuring subjective well-being among such groups.

Keywords

Satisfaction With Life Scale Confirmatory factor analysis Multi-ethnic Malaysia 

References

  1. Akaike, H. (1973). Information theory and an extension of the maximum likelihood principle. In B. N. Petrov & F. Csaki (Eds.), Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Information Theory (pp. 267–281). Budapest: Akademiai Kiado.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, F. M., & Robinson, J. P. (1991). Measures of subjective well-being. In J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver & L. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes: Measures of social psychological attitudes (Vol. 1, pp. 61–114). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  3. Arbuckle, J., & Wothke, W. (1999). AMOS 4 user’s reference guide. Chicago, IL: Smallwaters Corporation.Google Scholar
  4. Arrindell, W. A., Heesink, J., & Feij, J. A. (1999). The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS): Appraisal with 1700 healthy young adults in the Netherlands. Personality and Individual Differences, 26, 815–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Atienza, F. L., Balaguer, I., & García-Merita, M. (2003). Satisfaction With Life Scale: Analysis of factorial invariance across sexes. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 1255–1260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Balatsky, G., & Diener, E. (1993). A comparison of the well-being of Soviet and American students. Social Indicators Research, 28, 225–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 238–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blais, M. R., Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., & Brière, N. M. (1989). L’Échelle de satisfaction de vie: Validation canadienne-franc¸ aise du ‘Satisfaction with Life Scale’’ [The satisfaction scale: Canadian-French validation of the Satisfaction with Life Scale]. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 21, 210–223.Google Scholar
  9. Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. Breslin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross-cultural research. Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1, 185–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In K. A. Bollen & J. S. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equation models (pp. 136–162). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Byrne, B. (2001). Structural equation modeling using AMOS: Basic concepts, applications, and programming. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  13. Chua, B. S., & Abdul, H. O. (2001). The influence of ethnicity, gender, personality, life satisfaction, and number of children in the family on child abuse potential. Hong Kong Journal of Paediatry, 6, 40–43.Google Scholar
  14. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: Emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gilman, R., & Huebner, E. S. (2001). Review of life satisfaction measures for adolescents. Behaviour Change, 17, 178–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gouveia, V. V., Milfont, T. L., Nunes da Fonseca, P., & Peçanha de Miranda Coelho, J. A. (in press). Life satisfaction in Brazil: Testing the psychometric properties of the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) in five Brazilian samples. Social Indicators Research.Google Scholar
  18. Heckathorn, D. D. (1997). Respondent-driven sampling: A new approach to the study of hidden populations. Social Problems, 44, 174–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hoelter, J. W. (1983). The analysis of covariance structures: Goodness-of-fit indices. Sociological Methods and Research, 11, 325–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Howell, C. J., Howell, R. T., & Schwabe, K. A. (2006). Does wealth enhance life satisfaction for people who are materially deprived? Exploring the association among the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia. Social Indicators Research, 76, 499–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hu, L.-T., & Bentler, P. M. (1995). Evaluating model fit. In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Structural equation modeling: Concepts, issues, and applications (pp. 76–99). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  22. Hu, L.-T., & Bentler, P. M. (1998). Fit indices in covariance structure modeling: Sensitivity to underparameterized model misspecification. Psychological Methods, 3, 424–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hultell, D., & Gustavsson, J. P. (2008). A psychometric evaluation of the Satisfaction with Life Scale in a Swedish nationwide sample of university students. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1070–1079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lewis, C. A., Shevlin, M. E., Smekal, V., & Dorahy, M. J. (1999). Factor structure and reliability of a Czech translation of the Satisfaction With Life Scale among Czech university students. Studia Psychologica, 41, 239–244.Google Scholar
  25. McDonald, R. P. (1999). Test theory: A unified treatment. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  26. Mulaik, S. A., James, L. R., van Alstine, J., Bennett, N., Lind, S., & Stilwell, C. D. (1989). Evaluation of goodness-of-fit indices for structural equation models. Psychological Bulletin, 105, 430–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Neto, F. (1993). The satisfaction with life scale: Psychometrics properties in an adolescent sample. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 22, 125–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nettle, D. (2005). Happiness: The science behind your smile. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Oishi, S. (2002). The experiencing and remembering of well-being: A cross-cultural analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1398–1406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Oishi, S. (2006). The concept of life satisfaction across cultures: An IRT analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 411–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Oishi, S., & Diener, E. (2001). Goals, culture, and subjective well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1674–1682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Oishi, S., & Diener, E. (2003). Culture and well-being: The cycle of action, evaluation and decision. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 939–949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2008). The Satisfaction With Life Scale and the emerging construct of life satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pavot, W., Diener, E., Colvin, C. R., & Sandvik, E. (1991). Further validation of the satisfaction with life scale: Evidence for the cross-method convergence of well-being measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 57, 149–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pons, D., Atienza, F. L., Balaguer, I., & Garcia-Merita, M. L. (2000). Satisfaction with life scale: Analysis of factorial invariance for adolescents and elderly persons. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 91, 62–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pons, D., Atienza, F. L., Balaguer, I., & Garcia-Merita, M. L. (2002). Propiedades psicometricas de la Escala de Satisfacción con la Vida en personas de tercera edad [Psychometric properties of Satisfaction With Life Scale in the elderly]. Revista Iberoamericana de Diagnóstico y Evaluación Psicológica, 13, 71–82.Google Scholar
  38. Sachs, J. (2004). Validation of the Satisfaction With Life Scale in a sample of Hong Kong University. Psychologia: An International Journal of Psychology in the Orient, 46, 225–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shevlin, M. E., Brunsden, V., & Miles, J. N. V. (1998). Satisfaction with life scale: Analysis of factorial invariance, mean structures and reliability. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 911–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shevlin, M. E., & Bunting, B. P. (1994). Confirmatory factor analysis of the satisfaction with life scale. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 79, 1316–1318.Google Scholar
  41. Swami, V. (in press). Translation and validation of the Malay Subjective Happiness Scale. Social Indicators Research. Google Scholar
  42. Swami, V., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (in press). Factor structure of the Body Appreciation Scale among Malaysian women. Body Image.Google Scholar
  43. Swami, V., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., Sinniah, D., Maniam, T., Kannan, K., Stanistreet, D., & Furnham, A. (2007). General health mediates the relationship between loneliness, life satisfaction and depression: A study with Malaysian medical students. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 42, 161–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Swami, V., Sinniah, D., Subramaniam, P., Pillai, S. K., Kannan, K., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2008). An exploration of the Indecisiveness Scale in multi-ethnic Malaysia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 39, 309–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tanaka, J. S., & Huba, G. J. (1985). A fit index for covariance structure models under arbitrary GLS estimation. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 38, 197–201.Google Scholar
  46. Vassar, M. (2008). A note on the score reliability for the Satisfaction With Life Scale: An RG study. Social Indicators Research, 86, 47–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Vittersø, J., Biswas-Diener, R., & Diener, E. (2005). The divergent meanings of life satisfaction: Item response modeling of the Satisfaction With Life Scale in Greenland and Norway. Social Indicators Research, 74, 327–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wu, C. H., & Yao, G. (2006). Analysis of factorial invariance across gender in the Taiwan version of the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 1259–1268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ye, S. (2007). Validation of the temporal satisfaction with life scale in a sample of Chinese university students. Social Indicators Research, 80, 617–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyGoldsmiths, University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations