The Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS) is designed to provide a profile of children’s life satisfaction across key domains.

The 40-item MSLSS is completed by children and young people and captures information on five domains:

  • Family (7 items)
  • Friends (9 items)
  • School (8 items)
  • Living Environment (9 items)
  • Self (7 items)

There is also a 6-item Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale, with more information available on the developer’s faculty webpage.

Psychometric properties

The psychometric properties of the MSLSS have been explored, mostly in studies based in the US and Canada.

Property Definition MSLSS
Internal consistency Degree to which similar items within a scale correlate with each other Internal consistency has been found to be strong, ranging from 0.70 to low 0.90s (Huebner, 2001).
Test-retest reliability Degree to which the same respondents have the same score after period of time when trait shouldn’t have changed Test-retest coefficients have been found to be mostly in the range of 0.70-0.90 over intervals of 2-4 weeks (Huebner, 2001).
Concurrent validity Correlation of the measure with others measuring the same concept The MSLSS has been found to be correlated with other self-, parent- and teacher-reported well-being indexes and social desirability scales (Huebner, 2001).


The measure can be completed by children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18 years.


Independent translations have been used in research but have not all necessarily been validated. Please contact the measure developer for further information on translated versions.


The MSLSS can be administered to children and young people in groups or individually. When administering to younger children (US grades 3 to 5, ages 8 to 11), it is recommended to first read instructions aloud.

Scoring and interpretation

The MSLSS is scored as follows:

  • Never = 1
  • Sometimes = 2
  • Often = 3
  • Almost always = 4

Some items are negatively reverse-scored (see manual for more information).

In addition to the 4-point scale, a 6-point agreement scale has been used with US middle and high school students (Huebner et al. 1998), where 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = moderately disagree, 3 = mildly disagree, 4 = mildly agree, 5 = moderately agree, and 6 = strongly agree.

Domains can be compared by examining domain means (the sum of scores on each item in a domain divided by the number of items in that domain).

Terms of use

The MSLSS is not copyrighted and can be used for free and without permission.

Further information

Further information is available on the developer’s faculty webpage.


Huebner, E.S. (2001). Manual for the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale. University of South Carolina, Department of Psychology. Columbia, SC.

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.

Huebner, E.S. (1991). Initial development of the Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale. School Psychology International, 12, 231-243.