Objective. To test and compare five models proposed for the description of SWB.
Method. The study was implemented with a cross-sectional, ex-post-facto design using an incidental sampling method. The Positive and Negative Experience Scale and the Satisfaction with Life Scale were applied to a sample composed of 600 students of health sciences from two universities of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Data were analyzed through a structural equation modeling, using Maximum Likelihood and Corrected-Bias Percentile methods.
Results. The bifactor model comprising three specific factors, vis-à-vis the model composed of three correlated factors, had the best data fit (Δχ2/Δdf = 8.166 > 5, ΔNFI = .018, ΔNNFI = .015, and ΔCFI = .016 > .01), and all its fit indices were close; however, the specific factor related to positive affect had a poor contribution. Nevertheless, the model composed of three correlated factors had the greatest parsimony (PR = .853, PNFI = .804, PNNFI = .813, PCFI = .819, and PGFI = .706) and its three factors showed convergent validity, discriminant validity, and internal consistency reliability.
Discussion and conclusion. The two models with the best properties justify the use of a composite score of SWB based on the scores of positive affect, negative affect, and satisfaction with life, as well as scores for these three specific domains of content. From a psychometric perspective, the model composed of three correlated factors yielded the best result.
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