Social Indicators Research

, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 309–318 | Cite as

Satisfaction with Life Scale Among Adolescents and Young Adults in Portugal: Extending Evidence of Construct Validity

  • Ana Daniela SilvaEmail author
  • Maria do Céu Taveira
  • Cátia Marques
  • Valdiney V. Gouveia


The paper presents three empirical studies designed to extend the test of the construct validity of the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) among Portuguese students. In the first study, the responses of 461 elementary and secondary education students were submitted to a principal component analysis. A solution of one single factor was chosen, accounting for 55.7 % of the total variance, with Cronbach alpha coefficient and inter-item correlation above .70 and .20, respectively. The second study used a sample of 317 undergraduate students and registered a similar factor solution for SWLS (ϕpq = 0.99), which accounted for 65.6 % of the total variance (Cronbach alpha .89 and inter-item correlation above .20). A test–retest analysis registered coefficients of .70 (T2) and .77 (T3) and no significant statistically differences between T2, T3 and T1. The third study used a sample of 107 foster care youths from elementary and secondary education. Confirmatory factor analysis results indicate adequate fit indexes for the one-factor solution (χ2/df = 2.70, GFI = .96, CFI = .96), which showed convergent validity, reliability and homogeneity. In conclusion, there is psychometric evidence for the one-factor structure of the SWLS in Portugal.


Life satisfaction Well-being Construct validity Adolescents Young adults 


  1. Arrindell, W. A., Meeuwesen, L., & Huyse, F. J. (1991). The satisfaction with life scale (SWLS): Psychometric properties in a non-psychiatric medical outpatients sample. Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 117–123.Google Scholar
  2. 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.Google Scholar
  3. Atienza, F. L., Pons, D., Balaguer, I., & García-Merita, M. (2000). Propiedades psicométricas de la Escala de Satisfacción con la Vida en adolescentes. Psicothema, 12, 314–319.Google Scholar
  4. Bedeian, A. G., Armenakis, A. A., & Randolph, W. A. (1988). The significance of congruence coefficients: A comment and statistical test. Journal of Management, 14, 559–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Byrne, B. M. (2010). Structural equation modeling with Amos: Basic concepts, applications, and programmimg (2ª ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Casas, F., Fernández-Artamendi, S., Montserrat, C., Bravo, A., Bertrán, I., & Valle, J. (2013). El bienestar subjetivo en la adolescencia: Estudio comparativo de dos Comunidades Autónomas en España. Anales de psicología, 29(1), 148–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chmiel, M., Brunner, M., Martin, R., & Schalke, D. (2012). Revisiting the structure of subjective well-being in middle-aged adults. Social Indicators Research, 106, 109–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clark, L. A., & Watson, D. (1995). Constructing validity: Basic issues in objective scale development. Psychological Assessment, 7, 309–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clench-Aas, J., Nes, R. B., Dalgard, O. S., & Aaro, L. E. (2011). Dimensionality and measurement invariance in the satisfaction with life scale in Norway. Quality of Life Research, 20, 1307–1317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 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
  11. Gadermann, A. M., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Zumbo, B. D. (2010). Investigating validity evidence of the satisfaction with life scale adapted for children. Social Indicators Research, 96, 229–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gilman, R. (2001). The relationship between life satisfaction, social interest, and frequency of extracurricular activities among adolescent students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30, 749–767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Glaesmer, H., Grande, G., Braehler, E., & Roth, M. (2011). The German version of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS): Psychometric properties, validity, and population-based norms. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 27, 127–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gouveia, V. V., Milfont, T. L., Fonseca, P. N., & Coelho, J. A. (2009). Life satisfaction in Brazil: Testing the psychometric properties of the satisfaction with life scale (SWLS) in five Brazilian samples. Social Indicators Research, 90, 267–277.Google Scholar
  15. Hair, J. F., Jr, Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2006). Multivariate data analysis (6ª ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  16. Kim, J. W., Han, D. H., Lee, Y. S., Min, K. J., Park, J. Y., & Lee, K. (2013). The effect of depression, anxiety, self-esteem, temperament, and character on life satisfaction in college students. Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatry Association, 52, 150–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Laranjeira, C. A. (2009). Preliminary validation study of the Portuguese version of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 14, 220–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lent, R. W., Taveira, M. C., Sheu, H. B., & Singley, D. (2009). Social cognitive predictors of academic adjustment and life satisfaction in Portuguese college students: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 74, 190–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 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
  20. Neto, F. (1990). Satisfação com a vida e características de personalidade. Psychologica, 22, 55–70.Google Scholar
  21. Neto, F. (1993). The Satisfaction With Life Scale: Psychometrics properties in an adolescent sample. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 22, 125–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Neto, F. (2001). Satisfaction with life among adolescents from immigrant families in Portugal. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30, 53–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Neto, F., Barros, J., & Barros, A. (1990). Satisfação com a vida [Satisfaction with life]. In L. Almeida, R. Santiago, P. Silva, L. Oliveira, O. Caetano, J. Marques, & J. Marques (Eds.), A acção educativa: Análise psico-social (pp. 91–100). Leiria, Portugal: ESEL/APPORT.Google Scholar
  24. Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  25. Omery, A. K., & Dean, H. (2004). Multiple instruments for measuring quality of life. In M. Frank-Stromborg & S. J. Olsen (Eds.), Instruments for clinical health-care research (pp. 150–163). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.Google Scholar
  26. Park, N. (2004). The role of subjective well-being in positive youth development. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591, 25–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the Satisfaction With Life Scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2003). Well-being (including life satisfaction). In R. Fernández-Ballesteros (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychological assessment (pp. 1097–1101). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. Pons, D., Atienza, F. L., Balaquer, I., & García-Merita, M. L. (2000). Satisfaction with life scale: Analysis of factorial invariance for adolescents and elderly. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 91, 62–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Post, M. W., van Leeuwen, C. M., van Koppenhagen, C. F., & de Groot, S. (2012). Validity of the life satisfaction questions, the life satisfaction questionnaire, and the satisfaction with life scale in persons with spinal cord injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93, 1832–1837.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sancho, P., Galiana, L., Gutierrez, M., Francisco, E., & Tomás, J. M. (2012). Validating the Portuguese version of the Satisfaction With Life Scale in an elderly sample. Social Indicators Research. Retrieved on September, 30th, 2012:
  34. Schimmack, U. (2003). Affect measurement in experience sampling research. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4, 79–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Simões, A. (1992). Ulterior validação de uma escala de satisfação com a vida (SWLS). Revista Portuguesa de Pedagogia, 3, 503–515.Google Scholar
  36. Škerlavaj, M., & Dimovski, V. (2009). Organizational learning and performance in two national cultures: A multi-group structural equation modeling approach. In W. R. King (Ed.), Knowledge management and organizational learning (Vol. 4, pp. 321–366). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Vera-Villarroel, P., Urzúa, A. M., Pavez, P., Celis-Atenas, K., & Silva, J. (2012). Evaluation of subjective well-being: Analysis of the Satisfaction with Life Scale in Chilean Population. Universitas Psychologica, 11, 719–727.Google Scholar
  38. Wu, C., & 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

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Daniela Silva
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria do Céu Taveira
    • 1
  • Cátia Marques
    • 1
  • Valdiney V. Gouveia
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyFederal University of ParaíbaJoão PessoaBrazil

Personalised recommendations