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Journal Article

Estimating the reliability of single-item life satisfaction measures: results from four national panel studies

Authors

Publication date

Feb 2012

Summary

Life satisfaction is often assessed using single-item measures. However, estimating the reliability of these measures can be difficult because internal consistency coefficients cannot be calculated. Existing approaches use longitudinal data to isolate occasion-specific variance from variance that is either completely stable or variance that changes systematically over time. In these approaches, reliable occasion-specific variance is typically treated as measurement error, which would negatively bias reliability estimates. In the current studies, panel data and multivariate latent state-trait models are used to isolate reliable occasion-specific variance from random error and to estimate reliability for scores from single-item life satisfaction measures. Across four nationally representative panel studies with a combined sample size of over 68,000, reliability estimates increased by an average of 16% when the multivariate model was used instead of the more standard univariate longitudinal model.

Published in

Social Indicators Research

Volume and page numbers

105 , 323 -331

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11205-011-9783-z

ISSN

16

Links

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11205-011-9783-z

Notes

not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only

#520030


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