The perception of false self scale for adolescents: Reliability, validity, and longitudinal relationships with depressive and anxious symptoms


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Kirsty F. Weir or Dr Paul E. Jose, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand (e-mail:


A scale assessing generalized false self-perceptions (Perceptions of False Self, POFS) was developed and tested across three studies involving a total of 331 adolescents (11–16 years). In Study 1, interviews were conducted to develop items for the scale. In Study 2, psychometric techniques were used to derive a scale composed of 16 items. Study 2 also assessed the validity of the scale: depressive symptoms were found to increase POFS across 10 weeks, whereas false self-perceptions had a reciprocal effect on anxiety. In Study 3, the convergent validity of the POFS scale was established. Overall, the evidence suggests that the POFS scale is a reliable and valid measure of generalized false self-perceptions.