Download Full Text (364 KB)



Low life satisfaction during adolescence has been associated with adjustment problems. There are few well-validated measures available to assess adolescents’ life-satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the structure of the Life Satisfaction Scale, evaluate its measurement invariance across sex and race/ethnicity, and investigate its associations with related constructs.


Participants were 3,340 adolescents from rural middle schools in Florida. Half the participants were female, 51% were White, 15% were Black, and 22% were Latinx. Adolescents completed the Life Satisfaction Scale, the Children’s Report of Exposure to Violence scale, and the Problem Behavior Frequency Scale.


Confirmatory factor analysis found support for a single factor representing overall life satisfaction, and strong measurement invariance across race, but not across sex. There were significant differences in item thresholds such that girls at the same level of life satisfaction as boys, were more likely to endorse higher responses to items assessing satisfaction with school, with themselves, and with their friendships. Life satisfaction had significant negative correlations with violence exposure, problem behavior, and peer pressure for drug use.


Findings suggest that the Life Satisfaction Scale may be suitable for assessing life satisfaction across different groups of adolescents. Examining sex differences must be done cautiously as life satisfaction may have different meanings to boys and girls. The inverse correlations between life satisfaction, violence exposure and problem behavior across groups highlights the importance of developing sound measures to assess this important construct and determine how it relates to youth adjustment.

Publication Date



Clinical Psychology

Is Part Of

VCU Graduate Research Posters

Life Satisfaction: Measurement Invariance and Correlations with Adolescent Adjustment