CiteWeb id: 20130000025

CiteWeb score: 3743

DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-2354-4_5

The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) was developed to assess satisfaction with the respondent's life as a whole. The scale does not assess satisfaction with life domainssuch as health or finances but allows subjects to integrate and weight these domains in whatever way they choose. Normative data are presented for the scale, which shows good convergent validity with other scales and with other types of assessments of subjective well-being. Life satisfaction as assessed by the SWLS shows a degree of temporal stability (e.g., .54 for 4 years), yet the SWLS has shown sufficient sensitivity to be potentially valuable to detect change in life satisfaction during the course of clinical intervention. Further, the scale shows discriminant validity from emotional well-being measures. The SWLS is recommended as a complement to scales that focus on psychopathology or emotional well-being because it assesses an individuals' conscious evaluative judgment of his or her life by using the person's own criteria. The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in research on the construct of subjective well-being (SWB; Diener, 1984; Diener & Larsen, 1992). This research has begun to provide an important complement to one of psychology's traditional goals: the understanding of unhappiness or ill-being in the form of depression, anxiety, and unpleasant emotions. The addition of a positive orientation toward the individual's subjective experience of well-being provides an additional perspective for researchers and clinicians alike. Research has identified two broad aspects of subjective wellbeing: an affective component, which is usually further divided into pleasant affect and unpleasant affect (Diener, 1990; Diener & Emmons, 1984), and a cognitive component, which is referred to as life satisfaction (Andrews & Withey, 1976). When assessed, these components of SWB are at least moderately correlated, and a number of measures of SWB include both components (Chamberlain, 1988). Several researchers, however, have found separate satisfaction and affect components (Andrews & Withey, 1976; Judge, 1990; Liang, 1985; Stock, Okun, & Benin, 1986). These components appear to sometimes behave differently over time and to have differing relationships with other variables (Beiser, 1974; Campbell, Converse, & Rogers, 1976; DeHaes, Pennink, & Welvaart, 1987). The affective and cognitive components of SWB are not completely independent; however, the two components are somewhat distinctive and can provide complementary information when assessed separately. Although the affective and cognitive aspects of SWB both appear to be important, researchers have focused their atten