Social Indicators Research

, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 489–496

A Note on the Dimensionality of Quality of Life Scales: An Illustration with the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS)

  • Suzanne L. Slocum-Gori
  • Bruno D. Zumbo
  • Alex C. Michalos
  • Ed Diener
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11205-008-9303-y

Cite this article as:
Slocum-Gori, S.L., Zumbo, B.D., Michalos, A.C. et al. Soc Indic Res (2009) 92: 489. doi:10.1007/s11205-008-9303-y

Abstract

A case is made that measures used in quality of life and happiness research will be essentially unidimensional: inherently tapping minor dimensions. This is illustrated using Diener’s Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). It is shown that the SWLS does not meet the standard of strict unidimensionality, but that the interpretation of the total scale score is not compromised because the additional dimensions are relatively minor. In the context of the example, a multi-step strategy is described that allows researchers to test for essential unidimensionality. Throughout the article, essential unidimensionality is contrasted with the received view of strict unidimensionality and confirmatory factor analysis methods.

Keywords

Psychometrics Quality of life Dimensionality Measurement Validity 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne L. Slocum-Gori
    • 1
  • Bruno D. Zumbo
    • 1
  • Alex C. Michalos
    • 2
  • Ed Diener
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ECPS (Program Area: Measurement, Evaluation, and Research Methodology)University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.University of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  3. 3.University of IllinoisChampaignUSA

Personalised recommendations