Modification of the Rosenberg scale to assess self-esteem in children

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 17, 2021


Rosenberg's scale (RSES) is widely used to assess global self-esteem (SE) in adults and adolescents but is not validated for children <12 years. This study assessed the internal consistency, convergent validity, and factor structure of a modified RSES for schoolchildren (CRSES) aged 7–12 years. A total of 711 children aged 9.0 ± 1.5 years completed the CRSES; a subset (n = 417) also completed a life satisfaction (LS) scale. Data were submitted for confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and tests of factorial invariance by sex. Two-way ANOVA compared scores by age-group and sex; whilst Pearson's correlations examined the relationship between LS and SE. Following the use of modification indices the fit for the global SE model met the goodness of fit statistic criteria: χ(27, n = 711) = 77.22; χnormed = 2.860 CFI = 0.961; RMSEA = 0.051 with 90% CI = 0.038-0.065; SRMR = 0.037; and displayed respectable internal consistency (α = 0.79). The model was also factorially invariant by sex. SE scores did not vary sex (p > 0.05); but were significantly reduced in children aged 9–10 and 11–12 years compared to children aged 7–8 years. The global SE score was significantly correlated (r = 0.51; P < 0.001) with LS. The current version of the CRSES can reliably examine global SE in children aged 7–12 years; extending the use of the RSES to allow tracking across the life course.

Published in

Frontiers in Public Health


Volume: 9:655892






Open Access

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

© 2021 Wood, Griffin, Barton and Sandercock.



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest