Despite a wide reception of Antonovsky's salutogenetic model, only recently representative data measuring sense of coherence with the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC) have been collected for Germany. Meanwhile, norms have been published for the long (SOC-29) and the short-form (SOC-13) of the scale. Also an alternative short-form (SOC-9L) has been developed. Basis of this investigation are data from 4002 subjects (70.2 % response rate) from a representative sample in the City of Lübeck and the surrounding communities. In addition to a comprehensive battery of psychometric instruments, the Munich-Composite International Diagnostic Interview (M-CIDI) was used to derive DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. In this study, test statistical parameters for SOC-items stemming from a representative survey are reported. Internal consistencies (Cronbach's alpha) for the three forms are: SOC-29 = 0.91, SOC-13 = 0.86 und SOC-9L = 0.85. Critical differences with an alpha of 5 % are ascertained at: SOC-29 = 17.73, SOC-13 = 11.55 und SOC-9L = 8.61. Arithmetic means (and standard deviations) of the three scales for the whole sample are: SOC-29 = 155 (23), SOC-13 = 70 (11), SOC-9L = 51 (8). Also descriptive values, respecting age and gender for the three forms of the SOC are referred. Additionally all three SOC forms for the whole sample are contrasted with SOC scores of subjects who a) never fulfilled criteria for a psychiatric disorder in their lifetime, b) fulfilled criteria for a psychiatric disorder once in their lifetime, and c) fulfilled criteria for a psychiatric disorder in the last 12 months. Subjects who never fulfilled criteria showed highest scores, those who did so within the last 12 months showed lowest scores. The other two group scored in between.