Validity of the Life Satisfaction Questions, the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire, and the Satisfaction With Life Scale in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury

Marcel W. Post*, Christel M. van Leeuwen, Casper F. van Koppenhagen, Sonja de Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess and compare the validity of 3 life satisfaction instruments in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Design: Cross-sectional study 5 years after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.

Setting: Eight rehabilitation centers with specialized SCI units.

Participants: Persons (N=225) with recently acquired SCI between 18 and 65 years of age were included in a cohort study. Data were available for 145 persons 5 years after discharge.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures: The Life Satisfaction questions (LS Questions), the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (LiSat-9), and the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS).

Results: There were no floor or ceiling effects. Cronbach alpha was questionable for the LS Questions (.60), satisfactory for the LiSat-9 (.75), and good for the SWLS (.83). Concurrent validity was shown by strong and significant Spearman correlations (.59-.60) between all 3 life satisfaction instruments. Correlations with measures of mental health and participation were .52 to .56 for the LS Questions, .45 to .52 for the LiSat-9, and .41 to .48 for the SWLS. Divergent validity was shown by weak and in part nonsignificant correlations between the 3 life satisfaction measures and measures of functional independence and lesion characteristics.

Conclusions: Overall, the validity of all 3 life satisfaction measures was supported. Despite questionable internal consistency, the concurrent and divergent validity of the LS Questions was at least as good as the validity of the LiSat-9 and the SWLS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1832-1837
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2012


  • Life satisfaction
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Validation studies
  • Well-being

Cite this