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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11136-016-1331-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The validity of the life satisfaction measures commonly used among adults has been rarely examined in adolescent samples. The present research had two main goals: (1) to evaluate the structural validity of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) among adolescents and to test measurement invariance across gender; (2) to compare the criterion and convergent validity of the SWLS and single-item life satisfaction measures among adolescents.
Three samples of Serbian adolescents were recruited for the present research. Study 1 (N = 481, M age = 17.01 years) examined the structure of the SWLS via confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and evaluated measurement invariance of the SWLS across gender by a multi-group CFA. Study 2 (N = 283, M age = 17.34 years) and Study 3 (N = 220, M age = 16.73 years) compared the convergent validity of the SWLS and single-item life satisfaction measures.
The results of Study 1 supported the original one-factor model of the SWLS among adolescents and provided evidence for strong measurement invariance of the SWLS across gender. The findings of Study 2 and Study 3 showed that the SWLS and single-item measures were equally valid and strongly associated (r = .734 in Study 2 and r = .668 in Study 3). No substantial differences in correlations with school success and well-being indicators were found between the SWLS and single-item measures.
Our findings support the use of the SWLS among adolescents and indicate that single-item life satisfaction measures perform as well as the SWLS in adolescent samples.
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- The validity of the Satisfaction with Life Scale in adolescents and a comparison with single-item life satisfaction measures: a preliminary study
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