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A Reliability Generalization of the Life Satisfaction Index. K. A. Wallace & J. C. Caruso University of Montana. Presented at the Annual Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America, November 2002. Purpose.

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a reliability generalization of the life satisfaction index

A Reliability Generalization of the Life Satisfaction Index

K. A. Wallace & J. C. Caruso

University of Montana

Presented at the Annual Meeting of

The Gerontological Society of America, November 2002.

purpose
Purpose
  • To examine score reliability for a widely used measure of life satisfaction, the Life Satisfaction Index (LSI; Neugarten et al., 1961)
  • Average score reliability
  • Variation in score reliability as a function of sample characteristics (e.g., gender; mean age; scale length; etc.)
developing ratings of life satisfaction
Developing Ratings of Life Satisfaction
  • Crafted to assess well-being using a subjective evaluation of one’s own present and/or past life
  • Part of the Kansas City Study of Adult Life (Neugarten et al., 1961)
    • Thematic analysis of measures of adjustment and morale
    • 5 components of well-being:
      • Zest versus apathy
      • Resolution and fortitude
      • Congruence between desired and achieved goals
      • Self-concept
      • Positive mood tone
the scales
The Scales
  • Life Satisfaction Index A (LSIA)
  • Life Satisfaction Index B (LSIB)
  • Life Satisfaction Index Z (LSIZ; Wood et al., 1969)
  • 18-item version (Adams, 1969)
  • 8-item version (LSIW; James et al., 1986)
  • 30-item version (Maynard, 1993)
reliability generalization

Sample size

  • Scale length
  • Mean age of sample
  • Standard deviation of age
  • Gender
  • Mean LSI
  • Standard deviation LSI
  • Language of administration
  • Type of sample
Reliability Generalization
  • Meta-analytic technique
  • Examines average score reliability (e.g., Vacha-Haase, 1998)
  • Examines relationships between study characteristics and score reliability
method data collection
Method – Data Collection
  • PsycINFO literature search
    • Life satisfaction index and LSI
  • 157 possible articles
    • 59.87% no mention of reliability
    • 9.56% indicated LSI reliable test, no data
    • 6.37% cited reliability from previous work
    • 3.18% reported reliability in unusable form
    • .64% not empirical
    • 1.27% could not be obtained
    • 19.11% (30) provided usable reliability information
  • Total of 34 samples used
descriptive statistics for sample characteristics n 34
Descriptive Statistics for Sample Characteristics (N=34)

Variable M SD Range

Sample size 235.53 328.46 20-1571

Scale length 17.09 4.21 8-30

Mean age 61.79 17.17 20.2-83.3

Std dev age 6.89 3.38 3-15.7

Proportion female .63 .28 0-1.00

Mean LSI 15.56 13.01 3.08-65.5

Std dev LSI 3.40 2.34 .52-11.83

Lang of admin .78 .42 0-1.00

Sample type .26 .51 0-1.00

results
Results
  • Average Score Reliability
    • Mean = .79 (SD = .10)
    • Median = .79
    • Range of .56 (.42 to .98)
  • Bivariate correlations
    • Score reliability was not significantly related to: scale length, mean age, standard deviation of age, proportion female, sample size, mean LSI, or standard deviation LSI
  • t tests
    • No difference in score reliability as function of language of administration or sample type
discussion
Discussion
  • Adequate average score reliability for the LSI
    • File drawer problem?
  • No relationship between score reliability and sample characteristics
    • Preliminary evidence for adequate reliability of scores generated with LSI across various sample characteristics
  • Limitations?
future research implications
Future Research & Implications
  • Replication
  • Conceptualization of reliability as property of scores (e.g., Wilkinson & APA Task Force on Statistical Inference, 1999)
  • Inclusion of more detailed demographic and reliability information