Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale

The Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES) (Rosenberg 1965) is a ten item, Gutman style, unidimensional measure of self-esteem that has shown high reliability and validity (Gray-Little, Williams, and Hancock, 1997; Robins, Hendin, and Trzesniewski, 2001). Scale items are reproduced below. Robins et. al suggest a five item Likert ranging from 1 (not very true of me) to 5 (very true of me). It is scored via a 4-point Likert scale with responses ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree.

  • 1. I feel that I am a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others.
  • 2. I feel that I have a number of good qualities..
  • 3. All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure.
  • 4. I am able to do things as well as most other people.
  • 5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of.
  • 6. I take a positive attitude toward myself.
  • 7. On the whole, I am satisfied with myself.
  • 8. I wish I could have more respect for myself.
  • 9. I certainly feel useless at times.
  • 10.At times I think I am no good at all.

Robins, Hendin, and Trzesnieski (2001) suggest that the RSES may be usefully replaced by their own Single Item Self Esteem (SISE) scale which they demonstrate has high Convergent Validity with the RSES. The single item from the SISE is "I have high self esteem." This item is scored using a five point Likert ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).


Gray-Little, B., Williams, V.S.L., & Hancock, T. D. (1997). An Item Response Theory Analysis of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 23: 443-451.

Robins, Richard W., Hendin, Holly M., & Trzesniewski, Kali H. (2001). Measuring Global Self-Esteem: Construct Validation of a Single-Item Measure and the Rosenburg Self-Esteem Scale. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 27(2): 151-161

Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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