Measuring self-esteem in dieting disordered patients: The validity of the Rosenberg and Coopersmith contrasted




In order to ascertain the most appropriate measure of self-esteem for dieting disordered patients, this study contrasted the construct and convergent validities of two widely used measures. In addition, dieting disordered subgroups were compared on levels of self-esteem.


One hundred and seventeen male and female patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or eating disorder not otherwise specified completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI), and measures of dieting disorder pathology and depression.


No significant differences among the three dieting disorder subgroups were found. In determining convergent validity, regression analyses indicated that the SES was a significant predictor of dieting disorder psychopathology whereas the SEI was not. Of the two self-esteem measures, only the SES showed evidence of convergent validity.


The results suggest that the SES has sounder construct and convergent validity than the SEI. Hence, the SES may be more appropriate for use with dieting disordered populations. © 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 25: 227–231, 1999.