The Multidimensional Student Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS) is a quantitative tool that has mainly been developed in Western cultural contexts as a measure of children’s global satisfaction with their lives. The aim of the present study was to adapt the MSLSS for use with a sample of Palestinian primary school children (N = 1215) living in refugee camps. The instrument’s factor structure was analyzed via exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The divergent validity of the MSLSS scores was tested with respect to self-rated measurements of affect balance and symptoms of trauma. The results supported a robust four-factor 14-item structure (RMSEA = .030; NFI = .973, TLI = .981; CFI = .985) with good internal reliability. The four factors were satisfaction with family, friends, school and environment and they were stable across age groups. In conclusion, this adapted version of the MSLSS in Arabic is a quick, valid, and reliable scale for assessing children’s life satisfaction that may be used in contexts of political violence and low-intensity warfare.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Allden, K., Jones, L., Weissbecker, I., Wessells, M., Bolton, P., Betancourt, T. S., Hijazi, Z., Galappatti, A., Yamout, R., Patel, P., & Sumathipala, A. (2009). Mental health and psychosocial support in crisis and conflict: Report of the mental health working group. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 24(S2), s217–s227.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Arbuckle, J. L. (2011). Amos (Version 21) [Computer software]. Chicago: IBM SPSS.
Arlot, S., & Celisse, A. (2010). A survey of cross-validation procedures for model selection. Statistics Surveys, 4, 40–79.
Asher, S. R., Hymel, S., & Renshaw, P. D. (1984). Loneliness in children. Child Development, 55, 1456–1464.
Bender, T. A. (1997). Assessment of subjective well-being in children and adolescents. In G. Phye (Ed.), Handbook of classroom assessment: Learning, achievement, and adjustment (pp. 3–28). San Diego: Academic Press.
Bollen, J., Van de Sompel, H., Hagberg, A., & Chute, R. (2009). A principal component analysis of 39 scientific impact measures. PLoS One, 4, e6022.
Boynton, P. M., & Greenhalgh, T. (2004). Selecting, designing and developing your questionnaire. British Medical Journal, 328, 1312–1315.
Businaro, N., Pons, F., & Albanese, O. (2015). Do intelligence, intensity of felt emotions and emotional regulation have an impact on life satisfaction? A Quali-quantitative study on subjective wellbeing with Italian children aged 8–11. Child Indicators Research, 8, 439-458.
Byrne, B. M. (2004). Testing for multi-group invariance using AMOS Graphics: A road less traveled. Structural Equation Modeling, 11, 272–300.
Carr, A., & McNulty, M. (2016). The handbook of adult clinical psychology: an evidence based practice approach. London: Routledge Group.
Casas, F., Alsinet, C., Rosich, M., Huebner, E. S., & Laughlin, J. E. (2001). Crosscultural investigation of the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale with Spanish adolescents. In F. Casas & C. Saurina (Eds.), Proceedings of the third conference of the international society for quality of life studies (pp. 359–366). Girona: University of Girona Press.
Chen, F. F. (2007). Sensitivity of goodness of ft indexes to lack of measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 14, 464–504.
Cheung, G. W., & Rensvold, R. B. (2002). Evaluating goodness-of-fit indexes for testing measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 9, 233–255.
Collins, J.K. (1991). Research into adolescence: A forgotten era. Australian Psychologist, 26, 1–9.
Connidis, I. (1984). The construct validity of the Life satisfaction index an affect balance scale: A serendipitous analysis. Social Indicators Research, 15, 117–129.
Cronbach, L. J. (1961). Essentials of psychological testing (2d ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
Darton, R. A. (1980). Rotation in Factor analysis. The Statistician, 29, 167–194.
Deniz, M. E., & Isik, E. (2010). Positive and negative affect, life satisfaction and coping with stress by attachment styles in Turkish students. Psychological Reports, 107, 480–490.
Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542–575.
Diener, E. (1994). Assessing subjective well-being: Progress and opportunities. Social indicators research, 31, 103–157.
Diener, E., & Larsen, R. J. (1984). Temporal stability and cross-cultural consistency of affective, behavioral, and cognitive responses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 871–883.
Dyregrov, A., Kuterovac, G., & Barath, A. (1996). Factor analysis of the Impact of Event Scale with children in war. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 36, 339–350.
Ebesutani, C., Smith, A., Bernstein, A., Chorpita, B. F., Nakamura, B., & Higa-McMillan, C. (2011). A bifactor model of negative affectivity: Fear and distress components among younger and older youth. Psychological Assessment, 23, 679–691.
Epstein, J., & McPartland, J. M. (1977). The quality of school life scale. Riverside: Riverside.
Fan, X., & Sivo, S. A. (2007). Sensitivity of fit indices to model misspecification and model types. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 42, 509–529.
Fattore, T., Mason, J., & Watson, E. (2007). Children’s conceptualisation (s) of their well-being. Social Indicators Research, 80, 5–29.
Giacaman, R. (2017). Social suffering, the painful wounds inside. American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303637.
Gilman, R., Huebner, E. S., & Laughlin, J. E. (2000). A first study of the multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale with adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 52, 135–160.
Gilman, R., Huebner, E. S., Tian, L., Park, N., O’Byrne, J., Schiff, M., & Langknecht, H. (2008). Cross-national adolescent multidimensional life satisfaction reports: Analyses of mean scores and response style differences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37, 142–154.
Gouveia, V. V., Taciano, L., Milfont, T. L., Fonseca, P. N., & Coelho, J. A. P. (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.
Greenspoon, P. J., & Saklofske, D. H. (1997). Validity and reliability of the multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale with Canadian children. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 15, 138–155.
Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis. A global perspective (7th ed.). Uppersaddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Hamama, L., Ronen, T., Shachar, K., & Rosenbaum, M. (2013). Links between stress, positive and negative affect, and life satisfaction among teachers in special education schools. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 731–751.
Harter, S. (1989). Causes, correlates, and the functional role of global self-worth: A life span perspective. In J. Kolligan & R. Sternberg (Eds.), Perceptions of competence and incompetence across the life span (pp. 67–100). New Haven: Yale University Press.
Hatami, G., Motamed, N., & Ashrafzadeh, M. (2010). Confirmatory factor analysis of Persian adaptation of multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale (MSLSS). Social Indicators Research, 98, 265–271.
Henry, C.S., Ostrander, D.L., & Lovelace, S. G. (1992). Reliability and validity of the Adolescent Family Life Satisfaction Index, Psychological Reports, 70, 1223–1229.
Homel, R., & Burns, A. (1989). Environmental quality and well-being of children. Social Indicators Research, 21, 133–158.
Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.
Huebner, E. S. (1991). Correlates of life satisfaction in children. School Psychology Quarterly, 6, 103–111.
Huebner, E. S. (1994). Preliminary development and validation of a multidimensional life satisfaction scale for children. Psychological Assessment, 6, 149–158.
Huebner, E. S. (1998). Cross-racial application of a children's multidimensional life satisfaction scale. School Psychology International, 19, 179–188.
Huebner, E. S. (2004). Research on assessment of life satisfaction of children and adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 66, 3–33.
Huebner, E. S., & Gilman, R. (2002). An introduction to the multidimensional students' life satisfaction scale. Social Indicators Research, 60, 115–122.
Huebner, E. S., Laughlin, J. E., Ash, C., & Gilman, R. (1998). Further validation of the multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale. Journal of Psychological Assessment, 16, 118–134.
Kaiser, H. F. (1960). The application of electronic computers to factor analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 20, 141–151.
Kallina, H., & Hartman, A. (1976). Principal component analysis versus classical factor analysis. Psychogische Beitrage, 18, 84–98.
Kline, R. B. (2010). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford.
Kohrt, B. A., Jordans, M. J., Tol, W. A., Luitel, N. P., Maharjan, S. M., & Upadhaya, N. (2011). Validation of cross-cultural child mental health and psychosocial research instruments: Adapting the depression self-rating scale and child PTSD symptom scale in Nepal. BMC Psychiatry, 11, 127.
Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Cultural variation in the self-concept. In J. Strauss & G. R. Goethals (Eds.), The self: Interdisciplinary approaches (pp. 18–48). New York: Springer-Verlag.
Marsh, H. W., Hau, K., & Wen, Z. (2004). In search of golden rules: Comment on hypothesis-testing approaches to setting cutoff values for fit indexes and dangers in overgeneralizing Hu and Bentler's (1999) findings. Structural Equation Modeling, 11, 320–341.
Marshall, D. J., & Sousa, C. (2017). Decolonizing trauma: Liberation psychology and childhood trauma in Palestine. Conflict, Violence and Peace, 287–306.
Matsunaga, M. (2010). How to factor analyze your data right: Do’s, don’ts and how to. International Journal of Psychological Research, 3, 97–110.
Morin, A. J. S., Marsh, H. W., & Nagengast, B. (2013). Exploratory structural equation modeling. In G. R. Hancock & O. M. Mueller (Eds.), Structural equation modeling: A second course (2nd ed., pp. 395–436). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.
Neto, F. (2001). Satisfaction with life among adolescents from immigrant families in Portugal. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30, 53–67.
Park, N., Huebner, E. S., Laughlin, J. E., Valois, R. F., & Gilman, R. (2004). A cross-cultural comparison of the dimensions of child and adolescent life satisfaction reports. In Quality-of-life research on children and adolescents (pp. 61-79). Springer Netherlands.
Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164–172.
Pepe, A., & Addimando, L. (2014). Teacher - parent relationships: Influence of gender and education on organizational parents' counterproductive behaviors. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 29, 503–519.
Pepe, A., Addimando, L., & Veronese, G. (2017). Measuring teacher job satisfaction: Assessing invariance in the Teacher Job Satisfaction Scale (TJSS) across six countries. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 13, 396–416.
Rao, R. B., Fung, G., & Rosales, R. (2008). On the dangers of cross-validation. An experimental evaluation. In Proceedings of the SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (SDM) (pp. 588–596).
Raykov, T. (1997). Estimation of composite reliability for congeneric measures. Applied Psychological Measurement, 21, 173–184.
Siyez, D. M., & Kaya, A. (2008). Validity and reliability of the brief multidimensional students' life satisfaction scale with Turkish children. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 26, 139–147.
Sleijpen, M., Boeije, H. R., Kleber, R. J., & Mooren, T. (2016). Between power and powerlessness: A meta-ethnography of sources of resilience in young refugees. Ethnicity & Health, 21, 158–180.
Strózik, D., Strózik, T., & Szwarc, K. (2016). The subjective well-being of school children. The first findings from the children’s worlds study in Poland. Child Indicators Research, 9, 39–50.
Suh, E., Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Triandis, H. C. (1998). The shifting basis of life satisfaction judgments across cultures: Emotions versus norms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 482–493.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Tol, W. A., Song, S., & Jordans, M. J. (2013). Annual research review: Resilience and mental health in children and adolescents living in areas of armed conflict–a systematic review of findings in low-and middle-income countries. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 445–460.
Van Sonderen, E., Sanderman, R., & Coyne, J. C. (2013). Ineffectiveness of reverse wording of questionnaire items: Let’s learn from cows in the rain. PLoS One, 8, e68967.
Veronese, G., & Pepe, A. (2013). Psychometric properties of IES-R, short Arabic version in contexts of military violence. Research on Social Work Practice, 23, 710–718.
Veronese, G., & Pepe, A. (2017a). Life satisfaction and trauma in clinical and non-clinical children living in a war-torn environment: A discriminant analysis. Journal of Health Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105317720004.
Veronese, G., & Pepe, A. (2017b). Positive and negative affect in children living in refugee camps: Assessing the psychometric proprieties and factorial invariance of the PANAS-C in the Gaza Strip. Evaluation & the Health Professions, 40, 3–32.
Veronese, G., Castiglioni, M., & Said, M. (2010). The use of narrative-experiential instruments in contexts of military violence: The case of Palestinian children in the West Bank. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 23, 411–423.
Veronese, G., Castiglioni, M., Tombolani, M., & Said, M. (2012a). My happiness is the refugee camp, my future Palestine’: Optimism, life satisfaction and perceived happiness in a group of Palestinian children. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 26, 467–473.
Veronese, G., Castiglioni, M., Barola, G., & Said, M. (2012b). Living in the shadow of occupation: Life satisfaction and positive emotion as protective factors in a group of Palestinian school children. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 225–233.
Veronese, G., Pepe, A., Jaradah, A., Murannak, F., & Hamdouna, H. (2015). Quality of life and determinants of parents’ school satisfaction in war contexts: A mixed-method exploratory study in Palestine. Sage Open, 5, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244015608422.
Veronese, G., Pepe, A., Jaradah, A., Murannak, F., & Hamdouna, H. (2017a). “We must cooperate with one another against the Enemy”: Agency and activism in school-aged children as protective factors against ongoing war trauma and political violence in the Gaza Strip. Child Abuse & Neglect, 70, 364–376.
Veronese, G., Pepe, A., Jaradah, A., Murannak, F., & Hamdouna, H. (2017b). Modelling life satisfaction and adjustment to trauma in children exposed to ongoing military violence: An exploratory study in Palestine. Child Abuse & Neglect, 63, 61–72.
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 Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.
World Bank. (2015). Purchasing Power Parities and the Real Size of World Economies: A Comprehensive Report of the 2011 International Comparison Program. The World Bank. https://doi.org/10.1596/978-1-4648-0329-1.
Worthington, R. L., & Whittaker, T. A. (2006). Scale development research: A content analysis and recommendations for best practices. The Counseling Psychologist, 34, 806–838.
Yong, A. G., & Pearce, S. (2009). A beginner’s guide to factor analysis: Focusing on exploratory factor analysis. Tutorials in Quantitative Methods for Psychology, 9, 79–94.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.
Conflict of Interest
Guido Veronese declares that he has no conflict of interest. Alessandro Pepe declares that he has no conflict of interest.
About this article
Cite this article
Veronese, G., Pepe, A. Cross-cultural adaptation, psychometric proprieties and factor structure of the Multidimensional Student Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS): A study with Palestinian children living in refugee camps. Curr Psychol (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-9891-x
- Life satisfaction
- Cross-cultural adaptation
- Multidimensional Student Life Satisfaction Scale
- Palestinian school children