On the factor structure of the Rosenberg (1965) general self-esteem scale

Guido Alessandri, Michele Vecchione, Nancy Eisenberg, Mariola Łaguna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Since its introduction, the Rosenberg General Self-Esteem Scale (RGSE, Rosenberg, 1965) has been 1 of the most widely used measures of global self-esteem. We conducted 4 studies to investigate (a) the goodness-of-fit of a bifactor model positing a general self-esteem (GSE) factor and 2 specific factors grouping positive (MFP) and negative items (MFN) and (b) different kinds of validity of the GSE, MFN, and MFP factors of the RSGE. In the first study (n = 11,028), the fit of the bifactor model was compared with those of 9 alternative models proposed in literature for the RGSE. In Study 2 (n = 357), the external validities of GSE, MFP, and MFN were evaluated using objective grade point average data and multimethod measures of prosociality, aggression, and depression. In Study 3 (n = 565), the across-rater robustness of the bifactor model was evaluated. In Study 4, measurement invariance of the RGSE was further supported across samples in 3 European countries, Serbia (n = 1,010), Poland (n = 699), and Italy (n = 707), and in the United States (n = 1,192). All in all, psychometric findings corroborate the value and the robustness of the bifactor structure and its substantive interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-635
Number of pages15
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Bifactor model
  • Method effects
  • Method factors
  • Rosenberg self-esteem scale
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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