Social Indicators Research

, Volume 96, Issue 2, pp 229–247 | Cite as

Investigating Validity Evidence of the Satisfaction with Life Scale Adapted for Children

  • Anne M. GadermannEmail author
  • Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl
  • Bruno D. Zumbo


This study introduces the Satisfaction with Life Scale adapted for Children (SWLS-C) and presents psychometric findings regarding its validation. The SWLS-C was adapted from the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener et al. 1985), which is one of the most commonly used measures to assess satisfaction with life in adults. Three subject matter experts adapted the SWLS by changing the wording of the item stem and response format in order to make it more understandable for children. A stratified random sample of 1,233 students (48% girls) in grades 4–7 (mean age 11 years and 7 months) provided data on the SWLS-C and measures of optimism, self-concept, self-efficacy, depression, emphatic concern, and perspective taking. The SWLS-C demonstrated a unidimensional factor structure and high internal consistency. Furthermore, differential item functioning and differential scale functioning analyses indicated that the SWLS-C measures satisfaction with life in the same way for different groups of children (i.e., with regard to gender, first language learned at home—English vs. other language(s) than English—and across different grades) at the item and at the scale level. Associations between scores on the SWLS-C and demographic variables were statistically non-significant or of small effect size. In addition, the SWLS-C showed evidence of convergent and discriminant validity in relation to the other measures. Our results indicate that the SWLS-C is a psychometrically sound instrument that demonstrated evidence of construct validity for this age group. Limitations and future directions are discussed.


Satisfaction with Life Scale adapted for Children Satisfaction with life Children Adolescents Subjective well-being 



This project was made possible through the generous support of United Way of the Lower Mainland and a Cordula and Gunter Paetzold Fellowship, University of British Columbia. We would like to thank Dr. Anita Hubley and Martin Guhn for their feedback on this manuscript. Part of this study was presented at the 2007 conference of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies, San Diego, CA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne M. Gadermann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl
    • 1
  • Bruno D. Zumbo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ECPSUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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