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How Valid Are Measures of Children’s Self-Concept/ Self-Esteem? Factors and Content Validity in Three Widely Used Scales

Guerin, Suzanne and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi (2019). How Valid Are Measures of Children’s Self-Concept/ Self-Esteem? Factors and Content Validity in Three Widely Used Scales. Child Indicators Research, 12(5) pp. 1507–1528.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-018-9576-x
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Abstract

Children’s self-esteem/self-concept, a core psychological construct, has been measured in an overwhelming number of studies, and the widespread use of such measures should indicate they have well-established content validity, internal consistency and factor structures. This study, sampling a demographically representative cohort in late childhood/early adolescence in Dublin, Ireland (total n = 651), examined three major self-esteem/self-concept scales designed for late childhood/early adolescence: Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale for Children 2 (Piers et al. 2002), Self-Description Questionnaire I (Marsh 1992) and Self-Perception Profile for Children (Harter 1985). It also examined findings in light of the salient self factors identified by participants in a linked mixed-methods study. The factor structure of Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale was not replicated. The Self-Description Questionnaire I and Self-Perception Profile for Children were replicated only in part although in similar ways. In all three scales, a global/ appearance self evaluation factor accounted for the largest variance in factor analyses. Sport/athletic ability, school ability, school enjoyment, maths and reading ability/enjoyment, behaviour, peer popularity, and parent factors were also identified but did not always reflect existing scale structures. Notably, the factors extracted, or items present in these scales, often did not reflect young people’s priorities, such as friendship over popularity, the importance of family and extended family members, and the significance of incremental personal mastery in activities rather than assessing oneself as comparatively good at preferred activities. The findings raise questions about how self-esteem/self-concept scales are used and interpreted in research with children and young people.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2018 The Authors
ISSN: 1874-897X
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Irish Department of Children and Youth Affairs Research Scholarship ProgrammeNot SetDepartment of Children and Youth Affairs, Ireland
Keywords: Self-concept; Self-esteem; Children; Adolescents; Scales; Measurement; Factor analysis; Content validity
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport > Childhood, Youth and Sport > Childhood and Youth
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport > Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Childhood Youth and Sport Group (CYSG)
Item ID: 56252
Depositing User: Mimi Tatlow-Golden
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2018 13:13
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2019 21:29
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/56252
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