Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 527–544 | Cite as

Examining the Cross-National Measurement Invariance of the Extended Satisfaction with Life Scale in the United States and Hungary

  • James B. HittnerEmail author
  • Rhonda Swickert
  • N. Clayton Silver
  • Krisztina Hevesi
  • Zsuzsanna Kövi


The measurement invariance properties of four domains from the Extended Satisfaction with Life Scale (ESWLS) were examined in samples of young adults from the United States and Hungary. The four domains (scales) were general life satisfaction, social life satisfaction, family life satisfaction, and satisfaction with one’s self. For both countries, confirmatory factor analyses supported a correlated four-factor model, with each ESWLS domain constituting a single independent factor. Multigroup invariance testing provided support for both configural invariance and metric invariance, suggesting that across the U.S. and Hungarian samples the four ESWLS scales evidenced the same pattern of factor loadings as well as largely equivalent regression weights. These results suggest that respondents in both countries attributed the same meaning to the ESWLS constructs and that associations between the four ESWLS scales and other variables can be meaningfully compared across the two nations. Latent factor analyses indicated that with the exception of the correlation between general- and self-satisfaction, which was higher for the U.S., the magnitudes of the correlations between ESWLS domains were similar for the U.S. and Hungary. Possible explanations for the lack of measurement invariance across all of the nested models (i.e., item intercepts through residuals) are discussed.


Life satisfaction Extended satisfaction with life scale Measurement invariance Confirmatory factor analysis Cross-national 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Alfonso, V. C., Allison, D. B., Rader, D. E., & Gorman, B. S. (1996). The Extended satisfaction with life scale: Development and psychometric properties. Social Indicators Research, 38, 275–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amos Development Corporation. (2008). Amos version 17.0. Crawfordville, Florida: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Annis, N. M., Cash, T. F., & Hrabosky, J. I. (2004). Body image and psychosocial differences among stable average weight, currently overweight, and formerly overweight women: The role of stigmatizing experiences. Body Image, 1, 155–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bowling, N. A., Eschleman, K. J., & Wang, Q. (2010). A meta-analytic examination of the relationship between job satisfaction and subjective well-being. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83, 915–934.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Byrne, B. M. (2008). Testing for multigroup equivalence of a measuring instrument: A walk through the process. Psicothema, 20, 872–882.Google Scholar
  6. Byrne, B. M., Shavelson, R. J., & Muthén, B. (1989). Testing for the equivalence of factor covariance and mean structures: The issue of partial measurement invariance. Psychological Bulletin, 105, 456–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, F. F. (2007). Sensitivity of goodness of fit indexes to lack of measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 14, 464–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cheung, G. W., & Rensvold, R. B. (2002). Evaluating goodness-of-fit indexes for testing measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 9, 233–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chinni, M., & Hubley, A. M. (2014). A research synthesis of validation practices used to evaluate the satisfaction with life scale (SWLS). In B. D. Zumbo & E. K. H. Chan (Eds.), Validity and validation in social, behavioral, and health sciences (pp. 35–67). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  10. Chuah, S. C., Drasgow, F., & Roberts, B. W. (2006). Personality assessment: Does the medium matter? No. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 359–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 155–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cronk, B. C., & West, J. L. (2002). Personality research on the internet: A comparison of web-based and traditional instruments in take-home and in-class settings. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 34, 177–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Neve, J. E., Diener, E., Tay, L., & Xuereb, C. (2013). The objective benefits of subjective well-being. In J. Helliwell, R. Layard, & J. Sachs (Eds.), World happiness report 2013 (pp. 1–35). New York: UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.Google Scholar
  14. Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55, 34–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diener, E., & Chan, M. Y. (2011). Happy people live longer: Subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3, 1–43.Google Scholar
  16. Diener, E. D., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffins, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Diener, E., Inglehart, R., & Tay, L. (2013). Theory and validity of life satisfaction scales. Social Indicators Research, 112, 497–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Earley, P. C. (1993). East meets West meets Mideast: Further explorations of collectivistic and individualistic work groups. Academy of Management Journal, 36, 319–348.Google Scholar
  19. Forste, R., & Moore, E. (2012). Adolescent obesity and life satisfaction: Perceptions of self, peers, family, and school. Economics & Human Biology, 10, 385–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Foster, J. D., Campbell, W. K., & Twenge, J. M. (2003). Individual differences in narcissism: Inflated self-views across the lifespan and around the world. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 469–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Knapp, H., & Kirk, S. A. (2003). Using pencil and paper, internet and touch-tone phones for self-administered surveys: Does methodology matter? Computers in Human Behavior, 19, 117–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lazar, J., & Preece, J. (1999). Designing and implementing web-based surveys. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 39, 63–67.Google Scholar
  24. Little, T. D. (1997). Mean and covariance structures (MACS) analyses of cross-cultural data: Practical and theoretical issues. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 32, 53–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. MacCallum, R. C., Browne, M. W., & Sugawara, H. M. (1996). Power analysis and determination of sample size for covariance structure modeling. Psychological Methods, 1, 130–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Marsh, H. W., & Hocevar, D. (1985). Application of confirmatory factor analysis to the study of self-concept: First- and higher-order factor models and their invariance across groups. Psychological Bulletin, 97, 562–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Meredith, W., & Teresi, J. A. (2006). An essay on measurement and factorial invariance. Medical Care, 44(Suppl. 3), S69–S77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Murphy, J. G., McDevitt-Murphy, M. E., & Barnett, N. P. (2005). Drink and be merry? Gender, life satisfaction, and alcohol consumption among college students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 19, 184–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Oishi, S. (2006). The concept of life satisfaction across cultures: An IRT analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 411–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2008). The satisfaction with life scale and the emerging construct of life satisfaction. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Reynolds, W. (1982). Development of reliable and valid short forms of the Marlowe-Crowne social desirability scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 38, 119–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sagie, A., Elizur, D., & Yamauchi, H. (1996). The structure and strength of achievement motivation: A cross-cultural comparison. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 17, 431–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Steptoe, A., Deaton, A., & Stone, A. A. (2015). Subjective wellbeing, health, and ageing. The Lancet, 385, 640–648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tucker, K. I., Ozer, D. J., Lyubomirsky, S., & Boehm, J. K. (2006). Testing for measurement invariance in the satisfaction with life scale: A comparison of Russians and north Americans. Social Indicators Research, 78, 341–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Twenge, J. M. (2014). Generation me (2nd ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  37. Vandenberg, R. J., & Lance, C. E. (2000). A review and synthesis of the measurement invariance literature: Suggestions, practices, and recommendations for organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 3, 4–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vassar, M. (2008). A note on the score reliability for the satisfaction with life scale: An RG study. Social Indicators Research, 86, 47–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Vittersø, J., Røysamb, E., & Diener, E. (2002). The concept of life satisfaction across cultures: Exploring its diverse meaning and relation to economic wealth. Social Indicators Research Series, 16, 81–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Whisman, M. A., & Judd, C. M. (2016). A cross-national analysis of measurement invariance of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 28, 239–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wolf, E. J., Harrington, K. M., Clark, S. L., & Miller, M. W. (2013). Sample size requirements for structural equation models: An evaluation of power, bias, and solution propriety. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 73, 913–934.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wood, E., Nosko, A., Desmarais, S., Ross, C., & Irvine, C. (2006). Online and traditional paper- and-pencil survey administration: Examining experimenter presence, sensitive material and long surveys. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 15, 147–155.Google Scholar
  43. Zanon, C., Bardagi, M. P., Layous, K., & Hutz, C. S. (2014). Validation of the satisfaction with life scale to Brazilians: Evidence of measurement noninvariance across Brazil and U.S. Social Indicators Research, 119, 443–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • James B. Hittner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rhonda Swickert
    • 1
  • N. Clayton Silver
    • 2
  • Krisztina Hevesi
    • 3
  • Zsuzsanna Kövi
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCollege of CharlestonCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NevadaLas VegasUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyEötvös Loránd UniversityBudapestHungary
  4. 4.Department of General PsychologyKároli Gáspár University of the Reformed ChurchBudapestHungary

Personalised recommendations