• anxiety;
  • depression;
  • Japanese culture;
  • rating scale;
  • social competence

Aim:  Assessing social competence is important for clinical and preventive interventions of depression. The aim of the present paper was to examine the factor structure of the Japanese Interpersonal Competence Scale (JICS).

Methods:  Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was performed on the survey responses of 730 participants. Simultaneous multigroup analyses were conducted to confirm factor stability across psychological health status and sex differences.

Results:  Two factors, which represent Perceptive Ability and Self-Restraint, were confirmed to show a moderate correlation. Perceptive Ability involves a more cognitive aspect of social competence, while Self-Restraint involves a more behavioral aspect, both of which are considered to reflect the emotion-based relating style specific to the Japanese people: indulgent dependence (amae) and harmony (wa). In addition, Self-Restraint may be linked to social functioning. Both constructs may confound a respondent's perceived confidence.

Conclusion:  Despite its shortcomings, the JICS is a unique measure of social competence in the Japanese cultural context.