The Multidimensional Students Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS)

The Multidimensional Students Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS) is a 40-item likert-type scale which may be administered in groups or individually. The scale is at a 1.5 grade level for readability.  Its four responses are: never = 1; sometimes = 2; often = 3; and almost always = 4. A 6-point agreement format has been used with middle and high school students (Huebner et al., 1998).

The following is taken directly from the author’s manual:

“The impetus for the construction of the Multidimensional Students Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS) was the increased interest in the promotion of positive psychological well-being in children and adolescents (Compass, 1993; Sarason, 1997). … The MSLSS was designed to (a) provide a profile of children’s satisfaction with important, specific domains (e.g., school, family, friends) in their lives; (b) assess their general overall life satisfaction; (c) demonstrate acceptable psychometric properties (e.g., acceptable subscale reliability); (d) reveal a replicable factor structure indicating the meaningfulness of the five dimensions; and (e) be used effectively with children across a wide range of age (grades 3-12) and ability levels (e.g., children with mild developmental disabilities through gifted children).”

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  • Family
  • Friends
  • School
  • Living Environment
  • Self


Multidimensional Students Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS)

Reliability and Validity

Reported internal consistency (alpha) coefficients range from .70s to low .90s (Dew, 1996; Greenspoon & Saklofske, 1997; Huebner, 1994; Huebner, Laughlin, Ash, & Gilman, 1997).

Reported test-retest coefficients for two- and four-week time periods in the .70 – .90 range (Dew, 1996; Huebner et al., 1997; Huebner & Terry, 1995).

Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses have supported the dimensionality and hierarchy of the MSLSS (Huebner, 1994; Gilman et al., 2000; Huebner et al., 1998), but the scale would benefit from additional validation research regarding other populations of children (e.g. children with mental disabilities, ADHD).

Obtaining the MSLSS

The MSLSS is in the public domain. Researchers may use it without permission. The author publishes the scale and manual in both PDF and Microsoft Word formats, and welcomes any feedback regarding its usefulness.

Administration, Analysis and Reporting

Statistics Solutions consists of a team of professional methodologists and statisticians that can assist the student or professional researcher in administering the survey instrument, collecting the data, conducting the analyses and explaining the results.

For additional information on these services, click here.


Compas, B. (1993). Promoting positive mental health in adolescence. In S. G. Millstein, A. C. Peterson, & E. O. Nightingale (Eds.), Promoting the health of adolescents (pp. 159-179). New York: Oxford University Press. View

Gilman, R., Huebner, E. S., & Laughlin, J. (2000). A first study of the Multidimensional Students’ Life Scale with adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 52, 135-160.

Greenspoon, P. J. & Saklofske, D. H. (1997). Validity and reliability of the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale with Canadian children. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 15, 138-155.

Huebner, E. S. (1994). Preliminary development and validation of a multidimensional life satisfaction scale for children. Psychological Assessment, 6, 149-158.

Huebner, E. S. (1997). Life satisfaction and happiness. In G. Bear, K. Minke, & A. Thomas (Eds.), Children’s needs – II (pp. 271-278). Silver Spring, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Huebner, E. S., Laughlin, J. E., Ash C., & Gilman, R. (1998). Further validation of the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale. Journal of Psychological Assessment, 16, 118-134..

Sarason, S. D. (1997). Forward. In R. Weissberg, T. P. Gullotta, R. L. Hampton, B. A. Ryan, & g. R. Adams (Eds.), Enhancing children’s wellness (Vol. 8 ) (p. ix-xi).