Dimensionality and measurement invariance in the Satisfaction with Life Scale in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Faculty of Psychology 
Purpose Results from previous studies examining the dimensionality and factorial invariance of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) are inconsistent and often based on small samples. This study examines the factorial structure and factorial invariance of the SWLS in a Norwegian sample. Methods Confirmatory factor analysis (AMOS) was conducted to explore dimensionality and test for measurement invariance in factor structure, factor loadings, intercepts, and residual variance across gender and four age groups in a large (N = 4,984), nationally representative sample of Norwegian men and women (15–79 years). Results The data supported a modified unidimensional structure. Factor loadings could be constrained to equality between the sexes, indicating metric invariance between genders. Further testing indicated invariance also at the strong and strict levels, thus allowing analyses involving group means. The SWLS was shown to be sensitive to age, however, at the strong and strict levels of invariance testing. Conclusion In conclusion, the results in this Norwegian study seem to confirm that a unidimensional structure is acceptable, but that a modified single-factor model with correlations between error terms of items 4 and 5 is preferred. Additionally, comparisons may be made between the genders. Caution must be exerted when comparing age groups.