This study aims to present the psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the Positive Valuation of Life Scale (Lawton et al. in J Aging Ment Healt 13:3–31, 2001).
Sample included 207 community-dwelling elders (129 women; M Age = 77.2 years, SD = 7.5). The data collection included the translated and adapted Portuguese version of Positive Valuation of Life Scale, Life Satisfaction Index Z, Meaning in Life Questionnaire and Geriatric Depression Scale.
From exploratory factor analysis, two factors emerged, existential beliefs and perceived control, explaining 49 % of the total variance. Both factors were positively related with meaning in life and life satisfaction and negatively related with depression (p < 0.05). The values obtained for internal consistency for the total scale and for each subscale were good (α > 0.75).
The Portuguese version of Positive VOL Scale represents a reliable and valid measure to capture the subjective experience of attachment to one’s life. The two-factor structure is an update to Lawton’s previous work and in line with findings obtained in the USA (Dennis et al. in What is valuation of life for frail community-dwelling older adults: factor structure and criterion validity of the VOL, Thomas Jefferson University, Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health Research, 2005) and Japan (Nakagawa et al. in Shinrigaku Kenkyu 84:37–46, 2013). Future research is required to investigate VOL predictors and the potential changes toward the end of the life span.