Title

Measurement invariance of the Satisfaction With Life Scale across 26 countries

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology

Publication Date

5-2017

Volume

48

Issue

4

First Page

560

Last Page

576

Publisher

Sage Publications, Inc.

Keywords

life satisfaction, satisfaction with life scale (SWLS), measurement invaraince, multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (MG-CFA), multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (ML-CFA), alignment optimization method, multilevel multiple indicators multiple causes (ML-MIMIC), measurement/statistics, cross-cultural differences

Abstract

The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) is a commonly used life satisfaction scale. Cross-cultural researchers use SWLS to compare mean scores of life satisfaction across countries. Despite the wide use of SWLS in cross-cultural studies, measurement invariance of SWLS has rarely been investigated, and previous studies showed inconsistent findings. Therefore, we examined the measurement invariance of SWLS with samples collected from 26 countries. To test measurement invariance, we utilized three measurement invariance techniques: (a) multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (MG-CFA), (b) multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (ML-CFA), and (c) alignment optimization methods. The three methods demonstrated that configural and metric invariances of life satisfaction held across 26 countries, whereas scalar invariance did not. With partial invariance testing, we identified that the intercepts of Items 2, 4, and 5 were noninvariant. Based on two invariant intercepts, factor means of countries were compared. Chile showed the highest factor mean; Spain and Bulgaria showed the lowest. The findings enhance our understanding of life satisfaction across countries, and they provide researchers and practitioners with practical guidance on how to conduct measurement invariance testing across countries.

DOI

10.1177/0022022117697844

Print ISSN

00220221

E-ISSN

15525422

Publisher Statement

Copyright © The Author(s) 2017. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Jang, S., Kim, E. S., Cao, C., Allen, T. D., Cooper, C. L., Lapierre, L. M., … Woo, J.-M. (2017). Measurement invariance of the Satisfaction With Life Scale across 26 countries. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 48(4), 560-576. doi: 10.1177/0022022117697844

Share

COinS