The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale: What Is It?

Self-esteem is a construction that refers to subjective evaluation that people make of themselves. It differs from self-concept in that it deals with an emotional dimension and not a cognitive one. Low self-esteem is associated with depression and risky behavior, while high self-esteem often leads to greater psychological well-being.

The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, A short test with good psychometric properties, is the most widely used instrument for assessing self-esteem in clinical practice and scientific research.

    Morris Rosenberg, the creator of the scale

    Dr. Morris Rosenberg received his doctorate in sociology from Columbia University in 1953. He then worked at Cornell University and the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States.

    In 1965, he published the book The Society and the Self-Image of the Adolescent, through which present your self-esteem scale.

    He was professor of sociology at the University of Maryland from 1975 to 1992, the year of his death. His work on self-esteem and self-conception has survived him and remains an important reference in these fields to this day.

      The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale

      The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale consists of ten items; each of them is a statement on personal worth and self-satisfaction. Half of the sentences are worded positively, while the other five refer to negative opinions.

      Each element is scored from 0 to 3 depending on the extent to which the respondent identifies with the statement that constitutes it. Thus, 0 corresponds to strongly disagree and 3 to strongly agree.

      The elements that make up the Rosenberg scale are:

        1. I feel like a person worthy of love, at least as much as the others.
        1. I feel like I have positive qualities.
        1. In general, I tend to think of myself as a failure.
        1. I can do things as well as most.
        1. I feel like I have nothing to be proud of.
        1. I take a positive attitude towards myself.
        1. Overall, I feel satisfied with myself.
        1. I would like to have more respect for myself.
        1. Sometimes I definitely feel useless.
        1. Sometimes I think I am useless.

      The positive elements (1, 2, 4, 6 and 7) are rated from 0 to 3, while the elements 3, 5, 8, 9 and 10 are rated in reverse. A score below 15 indicates low self-esteem, Place a normal self-esteem between 15 and 25 points. 30 is the highest possible score.

      What is this for?

      The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale is the most widely used psychological instrument to measure self-esteem. This is due to the fact it is administered very quickly, Consists of only 10 elements, because their reliability and validity are high.

      Adolescents were the initial target of the self-esteem scale, although it became widespread in the study of adults. It is used to assess both general and clinical populations, including people with substance abuse problems.

      The Rosenberg scale has been validated in men and women of all ages in a large number of countries and has been used in intercultural studies in over 50 countries.

      On the other hand, we must not forget that knowing the level of people’s self-esteem is one way of approaching it. their most internalized beliefs about themselves. People with certain mental disorders or with social, emotional and assertiveness problems tend to have low self-esteem, which makes it more difficult for them to take ambitious initiatives to improve their situation.

      For example, a person with low self-esteem will tend to attribute their successes to luck or the involvement of external people or entities, such as helping a family member; this prevents them from experiencing these “good times” as a reward that they wish to access again in the future (or at least to the extent that it would be seen as a reward by someone with good self-esteem).

      Rosenberg scale results

      Cross-cultural studies conducted with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale have shown that people tend to rate themselves positivelyWhatever culture we belong to.

      However, the components of self-esteem if they vary by culture. In this way, people from more individualistic societies (like the United States) tend to feel more competent but less satisfied with themselves than those from collectivist cultures, like that of Japan.

      The scale confirmed the relationship of self-esteem with two of the 5 main personality factors: extraversion and neuroticism. People who are more outgoing and have a lower level of neuroticism (as opposed to emotional stability) tend to have higher self-esteem. In fact, it is hypothesized that self-esteem it can protect you from symptoms of anxiety.

      Psychometric properties: reliability and validity

      The original sample contained 5,024 participants, all high school students from New York; as we said, Rosenberg initially developed the scale for use in adolescents. A large number of subsequent studies have confirmed the reliability and validity of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale.

      In psychometry, the term “reliability” refers to the absence of measurement errors, while validity defines the degree to which the instrument measures what it seeks to measure.

      Test-retest reliability is between 0.82 and 0.88, and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, which measures internal consistency, is between 0.76 and 0.88. The validity criterion is 0.55. outraged the scale is inversely correlated with anxiety and depression (-0.64 and -0.54, respectively). These values ​​confirm the good psychometric properties of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. callhelpline.org.uk, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Council. Retrieved March 11, 2017.

      • Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the image of the adolescent. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

      • Schmitt, DP and Allik, J. (2005). Simultaneous administration of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale in 53 countries: exploring the universal and specific characteristics of the culture of self-esteem around the world. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 623-42.

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