Further validation of the Satisfaction with Life Scale: evidence for the cross-method convergence of well-being measures

J Pers Assess. 1991 Aug;57(1):149-61. doi: 10.1207/s15327752jpa5701_17.


The structure of subjective well-being has been conceptualized as consisting of two major components: the emotional or affective component and the judgmental or cognitive component (Diener, 1984; Veenhoven, 1984). The judgmental component has also been conceptualized as life satisfaction (Andrews & Withey, 1976). Although the affective component of subjective well-being has received considerable attention from researchers, the judgmental component has been relatively neglected. The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) was developed as a measure of the judgmental component of subjective well-being (SWB). Two studied designed to validate further the SWLS are reported. Peer reports, a memory measure, and clinical ratings are used as external criteria for validation. Evidence for the reliability and predictive validity of the SWLS is presented, and its performance is compared to other related scales. The SWLS is shown to be a valid and reliable measure of life satisfaction, suited for use with a wide range of age groups and applications, which makes possible the savings of interview time and resources compared to many measures of life satisfaction. In addition, the high convergence of self- and peer-reported measures of subjective well-being and life satisfaction provide strong evidence that subjective well-being is a relatively global and stable phenomenon, not simply a momentary judgment based on fleeting influences.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values