Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 142–154 | Cite as

Cross-National Adolescent Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Reports: Analyses of Mean Scores and Response Style Differences

  • Rich GilmanEmail author
  • E. Scott Huebner
  • Lili Tian
  • Nansook Park
  • Jenny O’Byrne
  • Miriam Schiff
  • Dina Sverko
  • Heather Langknecht
Original Article


Although numerous cross-national studies have assessed life satisfaction among adults, similar studies using adolescent samples have been rare. To address this shortage of research, a total of 1338 youth adolescents from two individualistic nations (Ireland, USA) and two collectivistic nations (China, South Korea) were administered the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS: Huebner, 1994) to assesses general life satisfaction and satisfaction with family, friends, school, self, and living environment. Responses were analyzed to assess potential cross-national differences in (a) mean levels of life satisfaction, and (b) response styles, specifically acquiescence and extreme responding. Mean scores revealed positive ratings by adolescents from all four nations across all domains, with the exceptions of satisfaction with school experiences (Ireland, South Korean, USA), living environment (China, South Korea), self (South Korea), and general life satisfaction (South Korea). Results also revealed significant response style differences across all MSLSS domains. Significant gender and gender-by-nation effects were observed for both mean score and response style differences, although the effect sizes were small. The implications of these findings were discussed, particularly with respect to “individualistic” vs. “collectivistic” cultural differences.


Adolescent life satisfaction Cross-national Response style differences 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rich Gilman
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Scott Huebner
    • 2
  • Lili Tian
    • 3
  • Nansook Park
    • 4
  • Jenny O’Byrne
    • 5
  • Miriam Schiff
    • 6
  • Dina Sverko
    • 7
  • Heather Langknecht
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of Educational and Counseling PsychologyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologySouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouP.R. China
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  5. 5.Dublin Business SchoolDublin 2Ireland
  6. 6.The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social WelfareThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  7. 7.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  8. 8.Psychological ServicesVirginia Beach Public SchoolsVirginia BeachUSA

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