Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 488–498 | Cite as

Global self-esteem and method effects: Competing factor structures, longitudinal invariance, and response styles in adolescents

  • Róbert Urbán
  • Réka Szigeti
  • Gyöngyi Kökönyei
  • Zsolt Demetrovics


The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) is a widely used measure for assessing self-esteem, but its factor structure is debated. Our goals were to compare 10 alternative models for the RSES and to quantify and predict the method effects. This sample involves two waves (N =2,513 9th-grade and 2,370 10th-grade students) from five waves of a school-based longitudinal study. The RSES was administered in each wave. The global self-esteem factor with two latent method factors yielded the best fit to the data. The global factor explained a large amount of the common variance (61% and 46%); however, a relatively large proportion of the common variance was attributed to the negative method factor (34 % and 41%), and a small proportion of the common variance was explained by the positive method factor (5% and 13%). We conceptualized the method effect as a response style and found that being a girl and having a higher number of depressive symptoms were associated with both low self-esteem and negative response style, as measured by the negative method factor. Our study supported the one global self-esteem construct and quantified the method effects in adolescents.


Self-esteem Measurement model Method effect Response style 



This publication was supported by Grant 1 R01 TW007927-01 from the Fogarty International Center, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the NIH. The project was also supported by the European Union and the European Social Fund under Grant Agreement TÁMOP 4.2.1./B-09/1/KMR-2010-0003. Zsolt Demetrovics and Gyöngyi Kökönyei acknowledge the financial support of the János Bolyai Research Fellowship, awarded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Róbert Urbán
    • 1
  • Réka Szigeti
    • 2
  • Gyöngyi Kökönyei
    • 1
  • Zsolt Demetrovics
    • 1
  1. 1.Eötvös Loránd University, Institute of PsychologyBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Eötvös Loránd University, Doctoral School of PsychologyBudapestHungary

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