Gender and race: An interaction affecting the replicability of well-being across groups

B. Jan McCulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Life Satisfaction Index (LSI) continues to be one of the most frequently used measures of well-being in social gerontology. Discrepancies in the operational use of the LSI, however, have made comparisons across studies difficult. Few studies have incorporated examination of the effect of gendertrace interactions on the performance of the LSI. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in the hierarchical factor structure of life satisfaction among four genderlrace groups using previously reported item pools and coding schemes. Three second-order, three-factor life satisfaction models were examined using confirmatory factor analysis techniques with four groups of older adults: White men (n = 846), White women (n = 1341), Black men (n = 177), and Black women (n = 287). In general, results showed differences in LSI factor structure across gendertrace groups. With regard to coding scheme, models using Neugarten et al.’s original coding scheme (1961) and those using Wood et al.’s alternative scoring (1969) were similar. Examination of models using different LSI item pools showed that the factor structure of life satisfaction was affected by the gender/race interaction, underscoring the problem of misspecification resulting from the sum of LSI items and use of the summated score as a unidimensional measure of well-being. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-89
Number of pages25
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 19 1993

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