Attachment to life: Psychometric analyses of the valuation of life scale and differences among older adults

Laura N. Gitlin, Jeanine Parisi, Jin Huang, Laraine Winter, David L. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose of study: Examine psychometric properties of Lawton's Valuation of Life (VOL) scale, a measure of an older adults' assessment of the perceived value of their lives; and whether ratings differ by race (White, Black/African American) and sex. Design and Methods: The 13-item VOL scale was administered at baseline in 2 separate randomized trials (Advancing Better Living for Elders, ABLE; Get Busy Get Better, GBGB) for a total of 527 older adults. Principal component analyses were applied to a subset of ABLE data (subsample 1) and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on remaining data (subsample 2 and GBGB). Once the factor structure was identified and confirmed, 2 subscales were created, corresponding to optimism and engagement. Convergent validity of total and subscale scores were examined using measures of depressive symptoms, social support, control-oriented strategies, mastery, and behavioral activation. For discriminant validity, indices of health status, physical function, financial strain, cognitive status, and number of falls were examined. Results: Trial samples (ABLE vs. GBGB) differed by age, race, marital status, education, and employment. Principal component analysis on ABLE subsample 1 (n = 156) yielded two factors subsequently confirmed in confirmatory factor analyses on ABLE subsample 2 (n = 163) and GBGB sample (N = 208) separately. Adequate fit was found for the 2-factor model. Correlational analyses supported strong convergent and discriminant validity. Some statistically significant race and sex differences in subscale scores were found. Implications: VOL measures subjective appraisals of perceived value of life. Consisting of two interrelated subscales, it offers an efficient approach to ascertain personal attributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e21-e31
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 19 2016


  • Affective well-being
  • Biographical management
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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