Sharratt, Kathryn, Boduszek, Daniel, Jones, Adele and Gallagher, Bernard (2014) Construct validity, dimensionality and factorial invariance of the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale: A bifactor modelling approach among children of prisoners. Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 2 (4). pp. 228-236. ISSN 2353-4192

The Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES; Rosenberg, 1989) has traditionally been conceptualised as a unidimensional measure of self-esteem but empirical evidence is equivocal, with some studies supporting a one-factor solution and others favouring multidimensional models. The aim of this study was to examine the factor structure, factorial invariance and composite reliability of the RSES within a European sample of children affected by parental imprisonment (N = 724). The study specified and tested six alternative factor models using conventional confirmatory factor analytic (CFA) techniques and a confirmatory bifactor modelling approach. The RSES was most effectively represented by a bifactor model including a general self-esteem factor comprising of all ten scale items and separate method effects for the positively and negatively phrased items. This model was found to be factorially invariant among boys and girls. Composite reliability indicated good internal consistency for the general self-esteem dimension but slightly less so for the positive and negative methods effects. Results are discussed in terms resolving the debate surrounding the appropriate factor structure and scoring of the RSES.

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