Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS, Deiner Scale)
- designed to address the concept of life satisfaction as a whole rather than to assess satisfaction with sub-dimensions of life (Diener et al. 1985).
- Conceptually, the SWLS measures the ‘discrepancy or balance’ between one’s life achievements and expectations.
Quality of Life.
Number of Items:
- Participants respond to the items of the SWLS on a 7-point Likert scale, ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (7).
- Administration time is usually under 5 minutes.
- A global score (5 – 35) is computed by summing the scores of each question.
- No reports have been presented wherein the scores of a single question were used.
SEM for total SWLS (calculated from data in Dijkers et al. 1999): 4.67
MDC for total SWLS (calculated from data in Dijkers et al. 1999): 12.95
- Scores represent a global perspective of life satisfaction.
- Norms/profiles are not available for the SCI population
- Published data for the SCI population is available for comparison (see Interpretability section of the Study Details sheet).
It is available in multiple foreign languages.
See the ‘How-to use’ page of this tool.
- The SWLS is generic, in that it holds no bias due to particular disability (e.g. SCI). It has adequate psychometric properties across various populations and scores can be compared between these populations.
- One item on the questionnaire “if I could live my life over, I would change nothing” is potentially sensitive.
# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 7
- Internal consistency of the SWLS is excellent (Cronbach’s a=0.83-0.92).
- Test-retest reliability for the total SWLS is adequate (r=0.65) and for the individual items is poor to adequate (r=0.39-0.60).
[Dijkers 1999, Post et al. 2012, Geyh et al. 2010, Hitzig et al. 2012, Krause et al. 2009]
- Correlation of the SWLS is excellent with the:
o Assistive Technology Device Predisposition Assessment (Spearman’s r=0.89)
o Brief Symptom Inventory (Spearman’s r=-0.64)
o Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (LISAT-9-11) (Spearman’s r=0.60),
- Correlation of the SWLS is adequate with the:
o Older Adult Health and Mood Questionnaire (Spearman’s r=-0.538)
o Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (Spearman’s r=-0.477).
[Dijkers 1999, Scherer & Cushman 2001, Post et al. 2012, Richardson & Richardson 2008, Hitzig et al. 2012, Krause et al. 2009]
No values reported for the responsiveness of the SWLS for the SCI population.
No values were reported for the presence of floor/ceiling effects in the SWLS for the SCI population.
Dr. Vanessa Noonan, Christie Chan
Date Last Updated:
Feb 1, 2013