Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Psychometric Evaluation of a Serbian Version of the Subjective Happiness Scale


The main aim of this research was to examine the psychometric properties of the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS; Lyubomirsky and Lepper in Soc Indic Res 46:137–155, 1999) in a sample of young adults in Serbia (N = 605, mean age = 21.99). The SHS demonstrated adequate internal consistency reliability and homogeneity. Exploratory and Confirmatory factor analyses supported the unidimensional structure of the SHS. The results provided support for the convergent validity of the SHS, by significant correlations with measures of subjective well-being (life satisfaction, positive and negative affect, emotional distress), positive expectations (optimism and self-efficacy), meaning in life and personality traits (extraversion and neuroticism). As compared to the Satisfaction with Life Scale, the SHS showed significantly higher correlations with measures of emotional states and personality traits. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that the SHS had incremental validity over and above subjective well-being and personality traits in predicting emotional distress and meaning in life.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bentler, P. M. (1989). EQS structural equations program model. Los Angeles: BMDP Statistical Software.

  2. Bentler, P. M., & Bonett, D. G. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin, 88, 588–606.

  3. Brandstätter, M., Baumann, U., Borasio, G. D., & Fegg, M. J. (2012). Systematic review of meaning in life assessment instruments. Psycho-Oncology, 21, 1034–1052.

  4. Bryant, F. B., King, S. P., & Smart, C. M. (2007). Multivariate statistical strategies for construct validation in positive psychology. In A. G. Ong & M. van Dulmen (Eds.), Oxford handbook of methods in positive psychology (pp. 61–82). New York: Oxford University Press.

  5. Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness, and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55, 34–43.

  6. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.

  7. Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403–425.

  8. Diener, E., Suh, E., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 276–302.

  9. Diener, E., Wirtz, D., Tov, W., Kim-Prieto, C., Choi, D., Oishi, S., et al. (2009). New measures of well-being: Flourishing and positive and negative feelings. Social Indicators Research, 39, 247–266.

  10. Doğan, T., & Totan, T. (2013). Psychometric properties of Turkish version of the Subjective Happiness Scale. The Journal of Happiness and Well-Being, 1(1), 21–28.

  11. Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (2013). World happiness report. New York: Earth Institute, Columbia University.

  12. Hills, P., & Argyle, M. (2002). The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire: A compact scale for the measurement of psychological well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 1073–1082.

  13. Hoe, S. L. (2008). Issues and procedures in adopting structural equation modeling technique. Journal of Applied Quantitative Methods, 3, 76–83.

  14. Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cut-off criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modelling, 6, 1–55.

  15. Jovanović, V., & Gavrilov-Jerković, V. (2013). Dimensionality and validity of the Serbian version of the Life Orientation Test-Revised. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 771–782.

  16. Jovanović, V., Gavrilov-Jerković, V., Žuljević, D., & Brdarić, D. Psihometrijska evaluacija Skale depresivnosti, anksioznosti i stresa-21 (DASS-21) na uzorku studenata u Srbiji [Psychometric evaluation of the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21) in a sample of Serbian students]. Psihologija (in press).

  17. Kashdan, T. B. (2004). The assessment of subjective well-being (issues raised by the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire). Personality and Individual Differences, 36, 1225–1232.

  18. Kenny, D. A., Kaniskan, B., & McCoach, D. B. (2011). How small is too small? The performance of RMSEA in models with small degrees of freedom. Unpublished paper, University of Connecticut.

  19. Keyes, C. L. M., Shmotkin, D., & Ryff, C. D. (2002). Optimizing well-being: The empirical encounter of two traditions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 1007–1022.

  20. Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practices of structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

  21. Lovibond, S. H., & Lovibond, P. F. (1995). Manual for the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (2nd ed.). Sydney: Psychology Foundation.

  22. Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. S. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46, 137–155.

  23. Moghnie, L., & Kazarian, S. (2012). Subjective happiness of Lebanese college youth in Lebanon: Factorial structure and invariance of the Arabic Subjective Happiness Scale. Social Indicators Research, 109, 203–210.

  24. Novović, Z., & Mihić, Lj. (2008). Srpski inventar afekata baziran na Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-X (SIAB-PANAS). Unpublished manuscript. Novi Sad: University of Novi Sad.

  25. Novović, Z., Mihić, Lj., Tovilović, S., & Jovanović, V. (2008). Relations among positive and negative affect, dysphoria and anxiety. Psihologija, 41(4), 413–435.

  26. Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

  27. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2008). The Satisfaction with Life Scale and the emerging construct of life satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 137–152.

  28. Scheier, M. F., Carver, C. S., & Bridges, M. W. (1994). Distinguishing optimism from neuroticism (and trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem): A reevaluation of the Life Orientation Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 1063–1078.

  29. Scholz, U., Gutiérrez-Doña, B., Sud, S., & Schwarzer, R. (2002). Is general self-efficacy a universal construct? Psychometric findings from 25 countries. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 18, 242–251.

  30. Schumacker, R., & Lomax, R. (1996). A beginner’s guide to structural equation modeling. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

  31. Schwarzer, R., & Jerusalem, M. (1995). Generalized self-efficacy scale. In J. Weinman, S. Wright, & M. Johnston (Eds.), Measures in health psychology: A user’s portfolio. Causal and control beliefs (pp. 35–37). Windsor, UK: NFER-Nelson.

  32. Shimai, S., Otake, K., Utsuki, N., Ikemi, A., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2004). Development of a Japanese version of the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS), and examination of its validity and reliability. Nippon Koshu Eisei Zasshi, 51, 845–853.

  33. Smederevac, S., Mitrović, D., & Čolović, P. (2010). Velikih pet plus dva: Primena i interpretacija (Big Five Plus Two: Manual for administration and interpretation). Beograd: Centar za primenjenu psihologiju.

  34. Spagnoli, P., Caetano, A., & Silva, A. (2012). Psychometric properties of a Portuguese version of the Subjective Happiness Scale. Social Indicators Research, 105, 137–143.

  35. Steel, P., Schmidt, J., & Shultz, J. (2008). Refining the relationship between personality and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 138–161.

  36. Steger, M. F., Frazier, P., Oishi, S., & Kaler, M. (2006). The Meaning in Life Questionnaire: Assessing the presence of and search for meaning in life. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 80–93.

  37. Steiger, J. H., & Lind, J. C. (1980). Statistically-based tests for the number of common factors. Paper presented at the annual Spring Meeting of the Psychometric Society. Iowa City: Iowa.

  38. Swami, V. (2008). Translation and validation of the Malay Subjective Happiness Scale. Social Indicators Research, 88, 347–353.

  39. Swami, V., Stieger, S., Voracek, M., Dressler, S. G., Eisma, L., & Furnham, A. (2009). Psychometric evaluation of the Tagalog and German Subjective Happiness Scale and a cross-cultural comparison. Social Indicators Research, 93, 393–406.

  40. Watson, D., & Clark, L. A. (1994). The PANAS-X: Manual for the positive and negative affect schedule-expanded form. Iowa City: University of Iowa.

  41. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS Scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1063–1070.

Download references


This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Grant No. 179006).

Author information

Correspondence to Veljko Jovanović.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Jovanović, V. Psychometric Evaluation of a Serbian Version of the Subjective Happiness Scale. Soc Indic Res 119, 1095–1104 (2014).

Download citation


  • Subjective happiness
  • Subjective well-being
  • Reliability
  • Convergent validity
  • Incremental validity