Measurement invariance of the satisfaction with life scale in Argentina, Mexico and Nicaragua
del Carmen, Domínguez Espinosa Alejandra
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The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) is one of the most widely used scales for the measurement of well-being. Nevertheless, its measurement invariance and factor structure have not been investigated simultaneously across culturally diverse samples in Latin America. The current paper evaluates the factorial structure and measurement invariance of SWLS (the degree to which the scale measurements conducted across different populations exhibit identical psychometric properties) as to provide solid and accurate basis for cultural group comparisons. We apply measurement invariance testing procedures using multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (MGCFA) to investigate the factorial structure and invariance of the scale across three cultural groups from Argentina, Mexico and Nicaragua. We also estimate and compare latent means of life satisfaction across groups. Participants were 921 adults (mean age 29.66, SD = 11.48) from Argentina (n = 192), Mexico (n = 421) and Nicaragua (n = 302). First, confirmatory factor analyzes (CFA) conducted separately for each cultural group provided support for the one-factor structure of the instrument. Second, the MGCFA showed good configural, metric and scalar invariance models, indicating similar patterns and strengths in factor loadings, means and intercepts across cultural samples. Third, latent mean comparisons did not show group differences in life satisfaction. We conclude that the SWLS is a brief and valid measure of life satisfaction that can be used for cross-cultural comparison with samples from Argentina, Mexico and Nicaragua.
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