The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS): Psychometric Properties and Observed Scores in University Students
Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
Volume 5, Issue 6, December 2016, Pages: 149-155
Received: Oct. 31, 2016; Accepted: Nov. 16, 2016; Published: Jan. 10, 2017
Views 2801      Downloads 210
Sergio Useche, Faculty of Psychology,University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Andrea Serge, Faculty of Psychology,University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Article Tools
Follow on us
Satisfaction with life is a wide studied component of well-being, largely documented along the recent decades. Also, it constitutes one of the most relevant variables within the positive and social psychology to study outcomes in different spheres of the life. Regarding the scholar context, it has been documented through several research experiences that the psychological well-being and, concretely the life satisfaction, has a broad importance on academically performance and behaviors observed within the scholar environment, as well as the achievement of academic goals. Satisfaction With Life Scale is one of the most used questionnaires to asses this factor. For this reason, the general objective of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the SWLS in Colombian university students. This study used a sample composed by 150 university students of Colombian higher education institutions with a mean of 19.64 years of age, and belonging to seven different fields of knowledge or careers. The questionnaire consisted in two sections: In the first section, university students were asked about demographic variables such as age, gender, relationship status and coursing career. For the second section, it was used Diener’s Satisfaction With Life Scale (Likert scale - 5 items). The results of this application show a relatively high satisfaction with life among Colombian university students. Although not gender differences were found, it has been established a set of differences according to career. Regarding psychometric properties, it was found a good factorial solution, and a set of favorable internal consistency coefficients. Satisfaction with life is an essential variable to be considered as part of the approach to well-being and quality of life of people. This study constitutes a significant effort taking into account that it allows to learn more about this phenomenon in a population of which (in the Colombian context, and even others) it has been done very little in terms of research of Subjective Well-Being and its relationship to outcomes in different spheres of life.
Satisfaction with Life, Life Satisfaction, Subjective Well-Being, SWLS, University Students, Public Health
To cite this article
Sergio Useche, Andrea Serge, The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS): Psychometric Properties and Observed Scores in University Students, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. Vol. 5, No. 6, 2016, pp. 149-155. doi: 10.11648/j.pbs.20160506.14
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
W. Pavot, E. Diener, “Review of the Satisfaction with Life Scale”, Psychological Assessment, 1993, 5, pp. 164-172.
L. Sovet, K. A. Atitsogbe, P. Pari, M. S. A. Park, A. Villieux, “Psychometric evaluation of the satisfaction with life scale in Togo: A three-step approach”. Revue Européenne de Psychologie Appliquée/European Review of Applied Psychology, 2016, 66, pp. 243-250.
E. Diener, E. Suh, R. Lucas, H. Smith, “Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress”, Psychological Bulletin 1999, 125, pp. 276-302.
F. F. Chen, “Two concepts or two approaches? A bifactor analysis of psychological and subjective well-being”. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2013, 14(3), pp.1033-1068. DOI 10.1007/s10902-012-9367-x.
T. N. Ordonez, T. B. Lima-Silva, M. Cachioni, “Subjective and psychological well-being of students of a University of the Third Age Benefits of continuing education for psychological adjustment in the elderly”. Dementia e Neuropsychologia, 2011, 5(3), pp. 216-225.
E. Diener, R. S. Emmons, R. J. Larsen, S. Griffin, “The SatisfactionWith Life Scale”, Journal of Personality Assessment, 1985, 49, pp. 71-75.
E. Diener, E. Suh, H. Smith, L. Shao, “National differences in reported subjective well-being: Why do they occur?”, Social Indicator Research, 1995, 34, pp. 7-32.
İ. Altun, G. Kaya Özbağ, E. Arli, “Subjective Well-Being in University Students”. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 2014, 43(11), 1585-1586.
R. Kobau, J. Sniezek, M. M. Zack, R. E. Lucas, A. Burns, “Well‐being assessment: An evaluation of well‐being scales for public health and population estimates of well‐being among US adults”. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being, 2010, 2(3), pp. 272-297. doi:
J. San Martin, F. Perles, J. M. Canto, “Life satisfaction and perception of happiness among university students”. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 2010, 13(2), pp. 617-628.
M. Joshanloo et al., “Conceptions of happiness and life satisfaction: An exploratory study in 14 national groups”. Personality and Individual Differences, 2016, 102, pp. 145-148.
B. Toker, “Life satisfaction among academicians: an empirical study on the universities of Turkey”. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2012, 47, 190-195.
K. H. Cha, “Subjective well-being among college students”. Social Indicators Research, 2003, 62(1), pp. 455–477.
N. Extremera, L. Rey, “Ability emotional intelligence and life satisfaction: Positive and negative affect as mediators”. Personality and Individual Differences, 2016, 102, pp. 98-101.
A. M. Cazan, L. E. Năstasă, “Emotional intelligence, satisfaction with life and burnout among university students”. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2015, 180, pp. 1574-1578.
M. Samaha, N. S. Hawi, “Relationships among smartphone addiction, stress, academic performance, and satisfaction with life”. Computers in Human Behavior, 2016, 57, 321-325.
R. Maass, C. A. Kloeckner, B. Lindstrøm, M. Lillefjell, “The impact of neighborhood social capital on life satisfaction and self-rated health: A possible pathway for health promotion?”. Health & Place, 2016, 42, pp. 120-128.
J. A. D. Datu, R. B. King, “Prioritizing positivity optimizes positive emotions and life satisfaction: A three-wave longitudinal study”. Personality and Individual Differences, 2016, 96, pp. 111-114.
P. Kuppens, A. Realo, E. & Diener, E. “The role of positive and negative emotions in life satisfaction judgment across nations”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2008, 95, pp. 66–75.
E. Tercan, “An examination of leisure participation, family assessment and life satisfaction in university students”. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2015, 186, pp. 58-63.
A. D. Lewis, E. S. Huebner, P. S. Malone, R. F. Valois, “Life satisfaction and student engagement in adolescents”. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 2011, 40(3), pp. 249-262. doi: 10.1007/s10964-010-9517-6.
R. W. Roeser, J. S. Eccles, “Schooling and mental health. In A. J. Sameroff, M. Lewis, & S. M. Miller (Eds.), “Handbook of developmental psychopathology” (2º Ed.), pp. 135–156). Plenum. New York, 2000.
Z. Kabasakal, “Life satisfaction and family functions as-predictors of problematic Internet use in university students”. Computers in Human Behavior, 2015, 53, pp. 294-304.
J. Cejudo, M. L. López-Delgado, M. J. Rubio, “Inteligencia emocional y resiliencia: su influencia en la satisfacción con la vida en estudiantes universitarios”. Anuario de Psicología, 2016, 46, pp. 51-57.
S. Jung, E. Choi, “Life satisfaction and delinquent behaviors among Korean adolescents”. Personality and Individual Differences, 2016, 104, pp. 104-110.
R. F. Valois, R. J. Paxton, K. J. Zullig, E. S. Huebner, “Life satisfaction and violent behaviors among middle school students”. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2006, 15, 695–707.
K. Martin, S. Huebner, R. F. Valois, “Does life satisfaction predict victimization experiences in adolescence?”. Psychology in the Schools, 2008, 45, pp. 705–714.
A. O. Topaloglu, “The Relationship between University Students’ Self Perception, Life Satisfaction and Various Variables”. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2015, 205, 349-355.
B. F. Piko, “Satisfaction with life, psychosocial health and materialism among Hungarian youth”. Journal of Health Psychology, 2006, 11(6), pp. 827-831.
A. L. Collins, D. A. Glei, N. Goldman, “The role of life satisfaction and depressive symptoms in all-cause mortality”. Psychology and aging, 2009, 24(3), pp. 696-702. doi: 10.1037/a0016777.
H. Koivumaa-Honkanen, R. Honkanen, M. Koskenvuo, H. Viinamäki, J. Kaprio, “Life dissatisfaction as a predictor of fatal injury in a 20-year follow-up”. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 2002, 105(6), pp. 444-450.
H. C. Gutierrez, D. A. Hershey, “Age differences in expected satisfaction with life in retirement”. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 2014, 78(2), pp. 93-114.
A. L. Dumitrescu, “Relation of achievement motives, satisfaction with life, happiness and oral health in Romanian university students”. Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry, 2010, 8(1), pp.15-22.
H. P. H. Chow, “Life satisfaction among university students in a Canadian prairie city: a multivariate analysis”. Social Indicators Research, 2005, 70, pp. 139-150.
C. Vásquez, A. Duque, G. Hervás, “Escala de Satisfacción con la Vida (SWLS) en una muestra representativa de Españoles adultos: Validación y datos normativos”. Thesis. Complutense University of Madrid. Madrid, 2012.
T. Abdallah, “The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS): Psychometric Properties in an Arabic-speaking Sample”. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 7: 2, 113-119, DOI: 10.1080/02673843.1998.9747816.
J. C. Cassady, M. Ali Eissa, “Emotional Intelligence: Perspectives from Educational and Positive Psychology”. Peter Lang Publishing Inc. New York, 2008.
L. Rosengren, S. B. Jonasson, C. Brogårdh, J. Lexell, “Psychometric properties of the Satisfaction With Life Scale in Parkinson's disease”. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 2015, 132(3), pp. 164-70. doi: 10.1111/ane.12380.
M. Eid, R. J. Larson, “The science of subjective well-being”. Guilford Press. New York, 2008.
E. O’Connor, “Student Well-Being: A Dimension of Subjective Well-Being?”. Thesis. Deakin University. Victoria, 2004.
D. G. Myers, E. Diener, “Who is happy?”. Psychological Science, 1995, 6, pp. 10-19.
J. M. Bird, R. S. Markle, “Subjective well-being in school environments: promoting positive youth development through evidence-based assessment and intervention”. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2012, 82(1), pp. 61–66.
M. Tuzgöl-Dost, “Subjective well-being among university students”. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi, 2006, 31, pp. 188.
F. L Atienza, D. Pons, I. Balaguer, M. L. García-Merita, “Propiedades psicométricas de la Escala de Satisfacción con la Vida en adolescentes”. Psicothema, 2000, 12, pp. 331-336.
F. L. Atienza, I. Balaguer, M. L. Garcia-Merita, “Satisfaction with Life Scale: analysis of factorial invariance across sexes”. Personality and Individual Differences, 2003, 35, pp. 1255-1260.
A. B. Krueger, D. A. Schkade, “The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures”. Journal of Public Economics, 2008, 92(8-9), pp. 1833–1845. doi: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2007.12.015.
M. Jackowska, J. Brown, A. Ronaldson, A. Steptoe, “The impact of a brief gratitude intervention on subjective well-being, biology and sleep”. Journal of Health Psychology, 2016, 21(10), pp. 2207-2217. doi: 10.1177/1359105315572455.
L. Bolier, M. Haverman, G. J. Westerhof, H. Riper, F. Smit, E. Bohlmeijer, “Positive psychology interventions: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies”. BMC Public Health, 2013, 13, pp. 119.
R. Sharma, N. Gupta, R. L. Bijlani, “Effect of yoga based lifestyle intervention on subjective well-being”. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 2008, 52(2), pp. 123-131.
T. G. Mazzucchelli, R. T. Kane, C. S. Rees, “Behavioral activation interventions for well-being: A meta-analysis”. Journal of Positive Psychology. 2010, 5(2), pp. 105–121. doi: 10.1080/17439760903569154.
J. Michaelson, S. Mahony, J. Schifferes, “New Economic Foundation. Measuring well-being: a guide for practitioners”. London, 2012.
M. R. Tamannaeifar, M. Motaghedifard, “Subjective well-being and its sub-scales among students: The study of role of creativity and self-efficacy”. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 2014, 12, pp. 37-42.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186