Validity of Domain Satisfaction Across Cohorts in the US

Anthony R. Bardo, Takashi Yamashita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Domain satisfaction, a relatively under-researched topic in subjective well-being research, is designed to capture satisfaction in multiple aspects of life (e.g., family, health). In view of the life course perspective, perceptions toward such different domains of life are most likely influenced by the historical and social climate that individuals uniquely experience over their life span. However, little is known about whether domain satisfaction is a valid measure across cohorts, which reflect differing life experiences at each life stage. This study examines the psychometric properties (e.g., validity and reliability) of a domain satisfaction measure across seven theoretically meaningful cohorts (e.g., Baby Boomers) using a nationally representative sample of American adults from multiple waves of the General Social Survey (n = 15,302). Results from confirmatory factor analysis showed that the validity of the domain satisfaction measure was not consistent across cohorts; unlike when all samples (e.g., cohorts were not considered) were analyzed together. A series of follow-up analyses also revealed that temporally proximate cohorts that were born around the same time were more likely to be psychometrically comparable, while temporally distant cohorts were not. In summary, this study provides empirical evidence suggesting that the validity of domain satisfaction is sensitive to cohort effects, and researchers need careful consideration when comparing cohorts chronologically further apart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-385
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Cohort effects
  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Domain satisfaction
  • Life course
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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