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27-03-2018 | Uitgave 6/2018

Quality of Life Research 6/2018

Psychometric properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), derived from a large German community sample

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2018
Andreas Hinz, Ines Conrad, Matthias L. Schroeter, Heide Glaesmer, Elmar Brähler, Markus Zenger, Rüya-Daniela Kocalevent, Philipp Y. Herzberg



The aim of this study was to test psychometric properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), to provide normative values, and to analyze associations between life satisfaction and sociodemographic and behavioral data.


A German community sample (n = 9711) with an age range of 18–80 years was surveyed using the SWLS and several other questionnaires. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to test the dimensionality of the SWLS. Invariance across gender and age groups was tested with multiple-group CFA. Associations between SWLS, sociodemographic variables, and behavioral variables were tested with ANOVAs.


Confirmatory factorial analysis results confirmed that the SWLS is a one-dimensional scale. Measurement invariance across gender was completely confirmed, while concerning age strict measurement invariance was confirmed. The effects of gender and age on satisfaction with life were weak. Satisfaction with life was associated with fatigue (r = − .49), the mental component of quality of life (r = .45), anxiety (r = − .42), dispositional optimism (r = .41), pessimism (r = − .34), sleep quality (r = − .32), and sociodemographic factors such as marital status, income, and occupational status. Non-smokers reported higher life satisfaction than smokers.


Because of the good psychometric properties, the SWLS can be recommended for use in epidemiological research. Normative values based on a large community sample are provided.

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