Psychological validation of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) in South Africa: Method effects and dimensionality in black African and white university students

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 27, issue 3, 2017 , pages: 277–281
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2017.1294303
Author(s): Malose MakhubelaDepartment of Psychology,, Solomon MashegoaneDepartment of Psychology,


The study examined the factor structure and cross-cultural validity of the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSES) in a sample of South African students (N = 862; black African = 67%, female = 71.5%). Alternative a priori CFA models (unidimensional, bi-dimensional and unidimensional models comprising either latent method factor or correlated residuals) were evaluated. Results indicated that the RSES in black and white South African university students is represented by a unidimensional model with correlated residuals of negatively and positively phrased items. Findings also suggested method effects on black African students to be significantly associated with negatively worded items compared to white students. Method bias effects appear to show for some RSES items and this may have important implications for the cross-cultural utility of the RSES in South Africa.

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