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Background: School is an integral component of the life of a child and thus, quality of school life is an important part of the overall quality of life experienced by a child. Quality of school life may be an important outcome for the assessment of Health Promoting Schools, which is an approach used internationally to improve students’ educational and health outcomes in school in an integrated and holistic way. There are a few instruments available to measure the quality of school life but they are often not available in English, or they are not appropriate for use alongside with other instruments in a survey of young children. The Quality of Life in School (QoLS) instrument is a short self-report measure to assess elementary school students’ perception of their quality of school life in four domains. The instrument was developed in Israel and has been validated among Hebrew-speaking children. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the QoLS measure in Canadian elementary school children. Methods: 629 children attending grades 4 to 6 were recruited in a population-based cross-sectional study. The QoLS measure was administered to participating children by trained research assistants. In addition, their socio-demographic details and academic data were also obtained. The psychometric testing included exploratory factor analysis and reliability estimation using internal consistency (Cronbach’s Alpha). Construct validity was investigated using the known groups comparisons for discriminative validity and via convergent validity. Results: A four-factor structure was generated explaining 39% of the total variance in the model. The results showed good internal consistency and acceptable floor and ceiling effects. Cronbach's Alpha ranged from 0.75 to 0.93. Known groups comparisons showed that the QoLS measure discriminated well between subgroups on the basis of gender, grade, and academic achievement, thus providing evidence of construct validity. The convergent validity was also appropriate with all the four domains demonstrating moderate to strong correlations to each other and to the total QoLS score. Conclusions: QoLS appears to be a valid and reliable measure for quality of school life assessment in young Canadian children.
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