Life Satisfaction Questionnaire. Primary data from the standardization sample 1994.

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Fahrenberg, Jochen
Myrtek, Michael
Brhler, Elmar
Schumacher, Jrg


Dataset Information

Title Life Satisfaction Questionnaire. Primary data from the standardization sample 1994.
Original Title Fragebogen zur Lebenszufriedenheit FLZ. Primrdaten der Normierungsstichprobe 1994.
Citation Fahrenberg, J., Myrtek, M., Brhler, E., & Schumacher, J. (2010). Life Satisfaction Questionnaire. Primary data from the standardization sample 1994. [Translated Title] (Version 1) [Files on CD-ROM]. Trier: Center for Research Data in Psychology: PsychData of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information ZPID.
Language of variable documentation German
Responsible for Data Collection Unabhngiger Service fr Umfragen, Methoden und Analysen Berlin (USUMA)
Data Collection Completion Date 1994
Dataset Publication 2010
Dataset ID fgjn94fr12
Study Description The Fragebogen zur Lebenszufriedenheit (FLZ, Life Satisfaction Questionnaire) was reconstructed and standardized on the basis of a 1994 survey of 2,870 residents (aged 14-92 years old) of the old and new German states (i.e., former West and East Germany, respectively). With a total of 70 items, the FLZ measures individual satisfaction in 10 areas of life: (1) health, (2) work and career, (3) financial situation, (4) recreation, (5) marriage and partnership, (6) relationship with own children, (7) own self, (8) sexuality, (9) friends, acquaintances, relatives, (10) housing. An index of global life satisfaction is formed from the scale values, but only the scale values 1, 3, 4, and 7 to 10 were summed up because relatively many people left the questions to the scales concerning work and career, marriage and partnership, and relationship to their own children unanswered. The values of the FLZ scales represent the individual evaluations of past and present living conditions and future prospects. Following the deductive differentiation in 10 areas, these were then demonstrated factor analytically in the self-assessments of the general population.
This standardized questionnaire makes it possible to capture individual satisfaction in 10 areas of life and then compare these with representative population norms. The FLZ can be used in clinical diagnosis and other tasks of psychological assessment to assess global and domain-specific life satisfaction. Life satisfaction can influence, among other things, experiences of illness, illness behavior, and rehabilitation processes.
The test manual (Fahrenberg, Myrtek, Schumacher, & Brhler, 2000) provides, following a theoretical overview of recent research findings, a detailed description of data collection, the construction of the scales, and further results. A survey conducted by the Unabhngigen Service fr Umfragen, Methoden und Analysen Berlin (USUMA; the Independent Service for Survey Research and Methodology Berlin) assessed a number of sociodemographic and psychological variables, and the relationship between these variables and the FLZ was analyzed. In addition, the project consists of other questionnaires, the results of which are reported in the test manual and in other publications.
The final version of the life satisfaction questionnaire FLZ was a collaborative effort between the Psychophysiology Research Group, Institute of Psychology, University of Freiburg, and the Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University of Leipzig. This was preceded by a research project on the psychological and medical rehabilitation of cardiovascular patients (Fahrenberg, Myrtek, Wilk, & Kreutel, 1986). The broad empirical basis for reviewing the scale construction and standardization was first achieved with the 1994 survey sample (Brhler & Richter, 1995; Schumacher, Laubach, & Brhler, 1995; Schumacher, Wilz, & Brhler, 1997). In addition, the two scales measuring friends/acquaintances/relatives and housing were added (Schumacher et al., 1995).
The title of the FLZ questionnaire, chosen in 1986, has been retained for the publication of the other versions, although there are other questionnaires that exist with the same name (Henrich & Herschbach, 2000; Herschbach, 1999).
This record includes the normative data of the FLZ, but not data from the other survey measures.
Hypotheses It was not the intention to examine specific hypotheses. However, it was expected that in using the expanded item pool it would be possible to reproduce the previous 8 scales and to develop 2 additional scales covering the areas of friends, acquaintances, family, and home.
Keyphrase test standardization of "Fragebogen zur Lebenszufriedenheit" (FLZ), life satisfaction questionnaire, representative sample of 2870 Germans aged 14 years and older, primary data
Funding -
Rating A total of 177 cases of the 3,047-strong survey group had to be eliminated due to an excessive number of missing data, that is more than 1 missing item per scale (except for the scale ARB, EHE and KIN), were eliminated, leaving a remaining sample of 2,870 subjects. A statistical comparison between the 177 persons with incomplete data sets and the remaining 2,870 people yielded some very significant differences in means. The eliminated group was significantly older, had a disproportionate number of women, a longer duration of marriage/partnership, and a lower income. The remaining data set of 2,870 persons is regarded as a representative sample of the population. The survey can generally be considered successful. However, necessary reservations should be made considering the "preselection effect", the number of participants and nonparticipants as well as their motives to either participate or not, the specific reasons for major survey omissions and for the lack of individual data, and any special conditions of individual interviews is not known. In the test manual, the main socioeconomic status and other characteristics of the normative sample are listed. The feature distributions of the survey sample can be compared with similar surveys in order to assess the reliability. 2 suitable surveys, both conducted by the Institute of Demoskopie (IfD) for revision and standardization, are the Freiburg Personality Inventory (Fahrenberg, Hampel & Selg, 2010; data collection in 1982 and 1999) and the Freiburg Complaints List FBL-R (Fahrenberg, 1994; data collection in 1993). These primary data are archived under fgjn82fr19, fgjn99fr19 and fgjn93fr19. The slightly different categorizations of the characteristics must be considered.


PSYNDEX Classification and Controlled Terms

Classification Clinical Psychological Testing
Health Psychology Testing
Controlled Terms Classical Test Theory
Rating Scales
Test Norms
Clinical Psychology
Life Satisfaction
Quality of Life
Well Being
Data Collection


Research Method Description

Research Method Description Test Data
Classification of Data Collection Normalized Test Procedure
Research Instrument Initial Method Study
In a first method study examining cardiovascular patients during the rehabilitation process, various methods had been used in addition to the 56 items of the original FLZ-form (Fahrenberg et al., 1986). Following this, a detailed interview of the patients and an independent assessment by the interviewer was conducted. Only the FLZ scale documented changes during the rehabilitation process. This result led to the conclusion that the FLZ scales were best suited to describe the inter- and intraindividual variability in life satisfaction in a standardized form. The present form of the questionnaire on life satisfaction came about by adding the 2 scales friends, relatives (9, also known as "social integration") and place of residence (10, Schumacher & Brhler Laubach, 1995). The other 8 scale items are almost identical to the original version.
Scale Analysis
Analysis of the test methodology of the FLZ-scales involved item, factor, and cluster analysis. As the allocation of the 70 items within the 10 scale is fixed, the aim is not a construction of new scales, but rather a methodological review. 2 approaches were used in the factor analysis of the items as a basis of comparison: the factorization of the 70 items due to a missing-data correlation matrix involving all the subjects and the factorization of 49 items of 7 scales with a complete sample set. Factors analysis was carried out using the principal component method (commonality 1, varimax rotation) on the basis of a separately calculated missing-data correlation matrix. Programs from the SAS/STAT (SAS Institute Inc. 1996) were used, including PROC CLUSTER, PROC CORR, PROC FACTOR, PROC GLM, PROC MEANS, and PROC REG along with special programs. Even in the subsequent item analysis, correlation calculations, and analyses of variance, no missing data were replaced, but were conducted - depending on the analysis - with the reduced number of subjects (pairwise exclusion). Variation between results may be due to different methods, the various algorithms (PROC statements in SAS and SPSS), and by differences in the treatment of missing data. The factor analysis and the cluster analysis, based on Ward's method (minimum variance cluster analysis), clearly confirm the assignment of each item to their respective scale (see Fahrenberg et al., 2000, pp. 32-33.). The norms are based on a representative population survey of 2,870 people. The norms are divided by gender and 7 age groups. The FLZ, as a standardized questionnaire, has a high implementation and evaluation objectivity and a high reliability. The consistency coefficients based on the normative sample (Cronbach's alpha) are between 0.82 and 0.94.
As opposed to many other questionnaires, the importance of context and logical validity in this questionnaire must be underlined. Based on subjective views, is difficult to establish how these self-assessments of a person's behavior, their objective living conditions, or the judgment of caregivers can be measured. The test manual presents the numerous relationships between the FLZ scales, sociodemographic characteristics, and the other questionnaire scales. Significant correlations are found between FLZ scale values and personality traits such as emotionality (FPI-R), social resonance, positive mood, and social potency (Giessen Test) along with the frequency of physical complaints (FBL-R, GBB), the memories of their parents' parenting style (FEE), and the expression interpersonal problems (IIP). There are also correlations between social class, physical complaints, sleep disturbances, hospital and rehabilitation stays, number of surgeries, doctor visits, medication intake, and retirement. Satisfaction varies in different areas of life as they age. Older compared to younger subjects are more satisfied with finances and more dissatisfied with the health.
Participants received other questionnaires along with the FLZ. The data and the results of the questionnaires are here excluded (see Fahrenberg et al., 2000; Schumacher et al., 1995.). Questionnaires included:
(1) Giessen Test (GT)
(2) Giessen Complaint Sheet - short form GBB-24,
(3) Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (FLZ)
(4) Fear Coping Inventory (Angstbewltigungs-Inventar ABI),
(5) opinions (4 items),
(6) attitude towards authority (4 items),
(7) attitude to health (4 items),
(8) Parenting Style Questionnaire (FEE)
(9) Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP).

Structure of the questionnaire
The 70 FLZ items include a 7-point response scale to rate satisfaction.
Data Collection Method Data collection in the presence of an experimenter
- Individual Administration
Time Points single measurement
Survey Time Period -
Characteristics -
Population Population of the Federal Republic of Germany (old and new federal states) aged 14 years or older. Disproportionately more people were interviewed in the new federal states. Generalizations about the total population of the Germany had to be weighted between 0.665 and 0.335 for the population in the West (1,958) and the East (912) (see USUMA weighting factors). Though the differences between these 2 subsamples were significant in most of the FLZ scales, they still remained minor enough (see test manual) so that a reconstruction and normalization of FLZ could be avoided.
Experimental Pool Individuals
Sample Quota Sample
Subject Recruitment As part of a multi-themed survey, the households were randomly surveyed (210 sample points each in East and West Germany) as were the respondents chosen from each household (Schumacher et al., 1995). The survey covered 3,047 residents (aged 14-92 years) of the old and new German states. Participants were visited at home and interviewed there by trained interviewers of USUMA.
Sample Size 2870 individuals
Return/Drop Out -
Gender Distribution 55% female subjects (n=1578)

45% male subjects (n=1292)
Age Distribution 14 years or older
Special Groups -
Country Germany
Region -
City -
Variables FLZ Questionnaire items
Socio-demographic information (gender, age, east/west residency, health, personal status, birth order, religion and church attendance, political party preference, nationality, month/year of birth, marital status, living with a partner, profession, unemployment, education/degree, head of household, number of people in the household, household income, telephone, weekday the interview was held on, German state, weighting factors for East and West Germany, city size, urban surroundings)
Subject's number (consecutive)


Data Status

Data Status Data Set Excerpt
Original Records Questionnaire filled out by either the subject or the experimenter containing closed and/or open answers
Transformation Subject's details were transferred immediately into a machine-readable form following simple encoding guidelines. For items 1-7, 15-28, and 43-70 (item that all respondents were expected to answer) missing values replaced where needed. It is not possible to reconstruct the original variables.


Description of the Provided Data

Description Primary data set
File Name fgjn94fr12_pd.txt
Data Content 2,870 subjects, 120 variables
Data Points 2,870*120=344,400 data points
Variables FLZ items (70), gender (1), age (1), East/West Germany(1), health (4), intimate partner (3), Siblings (2), partnership (2), religion and religious identity (4), party preference (1), nationality (1), month/year of birth (2), marital status, partnership (3), work status (3), profession (1), education (1), vocational diploma (1), head of household (1), number of persons in household (7), persons with personal income (1), household income (1), telephone (1), weekday of the interview (1), German State (2), weighting factors of East and West (2), city size and urbanity (2), subject ID (1)
MD5 Hash 3e279f185aa18a3707bcbe75ccecfe64
Description Primary data set with derived variables
File Name fgjn94fr12_ad.txt
Data Content 2,870 subjects, 133 variables
Data Points 2,870*133=381,710 data points
Variables FLZ items (70), gender (1), age (1), East/West Germany(1), health (4), intimate partner (3), Siblings (2), partnership (2), religion and religious identity (4), party preference (1), nationality (1), month/year of birth (2), marital status, partnership (3), work status (3), profession (1), education (1), vocational diploma (1), head of household (1), number of persons in household (7), persons with personal income (1), household income (1), telephone (1), weekday of the interview (1), German State (2), weighting factors of East and West (2), city size and urbanity (2), subject ID (1), FLZ-scale values (10,) number of answered items (1), FLZ sum values (2)
MD5 Hash 85c03489512c261df28a5bc8a57904cd


Description of Additional Materials

Description File Name
German codebook of primary dataset fgjn94fr12_pd.txt fgjn94fr12_kb.txt
German codebook of primary dataset with derived variables fgjn94fr12_ad.txt fgjn94fr12_aa.txt


Publications Directly Related to the Dataset

Publications Directly Related to the Dataset
Berth, H., Albani, C. & Brhler, E. (2005). Persnlichkeitsmerkmale, psychische Belastung und Lebenszufriedenheit von Arbeitslosen. Ergebnisse einer Reprsentativstudie. Psychosozial, 28, 99-110.Datensatz 0178491
Brhler, E. & Richter, H.-E. (1995). Deutsche Befindlichkeit im Ost-West-Vergleich. Ergebnisse einer empirischen Untersuchung. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte. Beilage zur Wochenzeitung Das Parlament (29. September 1995), B 40-41/95, S. 13-20.Datensatz 0093143
Fahrenberg, J., Myrtek, M., Schumacher, J. & Brhler, E. (2000). Fragebogen zur Lebenszufriedenheit (FLZ). Handanweisung. Gttingen: Hogrefe.Datensatz 9001035
Fahrenberg, J., Myrtek, M., Wilk, D. & Kreutel, K. (1986). Multimodale Erfassung der Lebenszufriedenheit: Eine Untersuchung an Koronarkranken. Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie, 36, 347-354.Datensatz 0021488
Myrtek, M. (1987). Life satisfaction, illness behaviour, and rehabilitation outcome: Results of a one year follow-up study with cardiac patients. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 10, 373-382.Datensatz 0041198
Myrtek, M., Kreutel, K., Wilk, D., Welsch, M. & Herzog, M. (1987). Lebenszufriedenheit und Rehabilitationsverlauf. Eine Untersuchung an Herz-Kreislauf-Patienten. Rehabilitation, 26, 11-19.Datensatz 0035051
Schumacher, J., Gunzelmann, T. & Brhler, E. (1996). Lebenszufriedenheit im Alter Differentielle Aspekte und Einflufaktoren. Zeitschrift fr Gerontopsychologie und -psychiatrie, 9, 1-17.Datensatz 0102073
Schumacher, J., Laubach, W. & Brhler, E. (1995). Wie zufrieden sind wir mit unserem Leben? Soziodemographische und psychologische Prdiktoren der allgemeinen und bereichsspezifischen Lebenszufriedenheit. Zeitschrift fr Medizinische Psychologie, 4, 17-26.Datensatz 0097579
Schumacher, J., Wilz, G. & Brhler, E. (1997). Zum Einflu dispositioneller Bewltigungsstrategien auf Krperbeschwerden und Lebenszufriedenheit im Alter. Zeitschrift fr Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 30, 338-347.Datensatz 0116532


Further Reading

Further Reading
Eid, M. & Larsen, R.J. (2008). The science of subjective well-being. New York: Guilford.
Fahrenberg, J. (1994). Die Freiburger Beschwerdenliste (FBL). Form FBL-G und revidierte Form FBL-R. Handanweisung. Gttingen: Hogrefe.Datensatz 9000962
Fahrenberg, J., Hampel, R. & Selg, H. (2010). Freiburger Persnlichkeitsinventar (8., erweiterte Aufl.). Gttingen: Hogrefe.
Henrich, G. & Herschbach, P. (2000). Questions on Life Satisfaction (FLZM) - A short questionnaire for assessing subjective quality of life. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 16, 150-159.Datensatz 0140921
Herschbach, P. (1999). Gesundheitsverhalten. Psychologische Determinanten des Arztbesuchs. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.Datensatz 0127631
Lischetzke, T. & Eid, M. (2006). Wohlbefindensdiagnostik. In: F. Petermann & M. Eid (Hrsg.). Handbuch der psychologischen Diagnostik. Gttingen: Hogrefe.Datensatz 0211608
Myrtek, M. (1998). Gesunde Kranke kranke Gesunde. Psychophysiologie des Krankheitsverhaltens. Bern: Huber.Datensatz 0117920
Schumacher, J., Klaiberg, A. & Brhler, E. (2003). Diagnostische Verfahren zu Lebensqualitt und Wohlbefinden. Gttingen: Hogrefe.Datensatz 0159079
Die Ergebnisse einer Literaturrecherche zum "Fragebogen zur Lebenszufriedenheit FLZ" sind bei den Autoren E. Brhler ( oder J. Fahrenberg ( erhltlich (Stand: 2010).


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