Validity and reliability of single-item self-report measures of meaning in life and satisfaction with life
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Health, subjective well-being and many other fields of research require large surveys that often include repeated measurements, and involve a multitude of crucial variables. This results in a demand for effective, valid and reliable measurement tools. Widely applied self-report multi-item scales can be associated with high cost and burden for both respondents and researchers. Lengthy measures also provide a threat to the validity of measurements due to fatigue effects in participants. In order to overcome this issues a single-item, self-report measures of meaning in life and satisfaction with life were examined in a sample of 1451 university students. These two measures were administered in a subsample of 135 students on two occasions with three weeks interval between them. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) for test-retest reliability were very high, .86 for meaning in life, and .88 for satisfaction in life. These measures were related in predictable ways to perceived stress, depressiveness, anxiety, and loneliness. The study provides evidence for the validity and reliability of these single-item measures. These scales are potentially convenient measures of meaning in life and satisfaction with life in large surveys.
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