ATS American Thoracic Society
Recent Abstracts

Life Satisfaction Inventory

Name of Questionnaire

Life Satisfaction Inventory-A (LSI-A); Life Satisfaction Inventory-Z (LSI- Z)


BL Neugarten, RJ Havighurst, SS Tobin

Cost & availability

None; instrument is in the public domain



Time to complete

5 minutes

Number of items

20 in original instrument (LSI-A). A modification of the instrument, the LSI-Z, has 13 items.

Domains & categories


Name of categories/domains

Zest for life; resolution and fortitude; congruence between desired and achieved goals; high physical, psychological, and social self-concept; happy, optimistic mood tone.

Scaling of items

Agree, disagree, or not sure


Total scale score based on number of subject agreements with specific responses to individual items (possible range for LSI-A with one point given for each agreement: 0-20; possible range for LSI-Z with 2 points given for each agreement: 0-26)


a. Test-retest/reproducibility Not reported. "Consistency" of measurement reported to be best in people over age 65.
b. Internal consistency Reported


Content validity assured by items based on repeated interviews with people aged 50 - 90 years about life pattern, attitudes, values, daily activities, social interaction, and other concerns.

Construct validity demonstrated through correlations between LSI-A and a Life Satisfaction Rating and between LSI-Z and a Life Satisfaction Rating. Factor analysis of the LSI-A produced 4 factors, of which 3 were interpretable: mood tone; zest for life; and congruence.


Not reported

Minimally important difference

Not determined.

Research use

Reported in studies of women with COPD, and spouse caregivers to men with COPD. Used widely in gerontology.

Clinical use

Not reported.


Original: English


  1. Adams DL. Analysis of a life satisfaction index. J Gerontol 1969;24;470-474.
  2. Neugarten BL, Havighurst RJ, Tobin SS. The measurement of life satisfaction. J Gerontol 1961;16;134-143.
  3. Sexton DL, Munro BH. Impact of a husband's chronic illness (COPD) on the spouse's life. Res Nurs Health 1985;8,83-90.
  4. Sexton DL, Munro BH. Living with a chronic illness: The experience of women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). W J Nurs Res 1988;10:26-44.
  5. Wood V, Wylie ML, Sheafor B. An analysis of a short self-report measure of life satisfaction: Correlation with rater judgments. J Gerontol 1969;24:465- 469.

Date of information

March 1999

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