Psychometric Evaluation of the 18-Item Version of

the Multidimensional Students Life Satisfaction Scale

for Malaysian Adolescents

Mr. Chin Wen Cong

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman


  • Life satisfaction is a crucial indicator of adolescent mental health.

  • Huebner (2001) developed the 40-item Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS) for the assessment of adolescents’ satisfaction with family, school, self, friends, and living environment.

  • The 18-item version of the MSLSS (MSLSS-18; Sawatzky et al., 2009) is as valid as the original version of the MSLSS.

  • The validity evidence of the MSLSS-18 remains unclear in the context of Malaysia.

  • The present study aimed to validate the MSLSS-18 among Malaysian adolescents using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).


  • Malay version of MSLSS-18 translated by Yaacob et al. (2012) using the back-to-back translation method.

  • 6-point response options (1 = "strongly disagree" to 6 = "strongly agree").

  • 5 subscales:

    1. family (four items), e.g., "My family is better than most"

    2. school (four items), e.g., "I look forward to going to school"

    3. self (four items), e.g., "There are lots of things I can do well"

    4. friends (four items), e.g., "My friends are nice to me"

    5. living environment (two items), e.g., "I like my neighbourhood"


  • This study re-used data collected for a larger project on adolescents’ suicidal ideation and depression.

  • 852 public secondary school students.

  • Multistage cluster sampling method: 3 public secondary schools in 3 different regions of Kuala Lumpur (i.e., North, Central, and South).

  • 13 to 17 years old (M = 14.80; SD = 1.23).

  • CFA was performed using the jamovi software.

Results & Discussion


  • The hypothetical five-factor model had a good model fit for the Malaysian adolescent sample.

  • MSLSS-18 showed excellent internal reliability: Cronbach’s alphas = .789 – .860 (except for the living environment subscale with two items).

  • MSLSS-18 is a valid and reliable tool for Malaysian adolescents.

  • Local researchers and mental health practitioners are advised to use the MSLSS-18 to assess Malaysian adolescents’ life satisfaction in multiple dimensions.