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Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale

Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale

What is RSES

The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) was developed by Morris Rosenberg in 1965. It is a 10-item self-report measure of global self-esteem. Self-esteem is a positive or negative attitude towards the self. High self­-esteem means that the individual respects himself, considers himself worthy; he does not necessarily consider himself better than others, but he definitely does not consider himself worse; he does not feel that he is the ultimate in perfection but, on the contrary, recognizes his limitations and expects to grow and improve. Low self-­esteem, on the other hand, implies self rejection, self dissatisfaction, self contempt. The individual lacks respect for the self he observes. The self picture is disagreeable, and he wishes it were otherwise.

RSES Printable PDF

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RSES Scoring and Interpretation

Scores are calculated as follows:

For items 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7:

Strongly agree = 3

Agree = 2

Disagree = 1

Strongly disagree = 0

For items 3, 5, 8, 9, and 10 (which are reversed in valence):

Strongly agree = 0

Agree = 1

Disagree = 2

Strongly disagree = 3

The scale ranges from 0-30.

For the RSES score, the higher the score, the higher the self esteem.

For the Guttman Self-Esteem Scale scoring, "Positive" responses indicate low self­-esteem.

PsyPack can automatically score the RSES assessment and prepare corresponding tables and graphs.

RSES sample result

Sample Report of RSES



What does RSES measure

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • measure self-esteem.



Type of outcome tool

Positive psychology

Assessment modes


Age and eligibility

13 years and above

Estimated time

Less than 5 minutes


As is true of any self-report instrument, respondents can consciously distort their response to the scale if they are motivated to do so.

Self-esteem is a positive or negative attitude towards the self.

The self-esteem scale bears a strong relationship to the psychophysiological indicators of anxiety. Rosenberg’s study shows evidence that individuals with low scores manifest symptoms of "neuroticism" or anxiety.

The New York State study revealed a clear relationship between the self-esteem scale and a 6-item Guttman scale of depressive affect. Rosenberg’s study shows evidence that individuals with low scores appear depressed to others and express feelings of discouragement and unhappiness.

Rosenberg’s study shows evidence that individuals with low scores hold a low sociometric status in the group; be described as commanding less respect than others and feel that others have little respect for them. Social factors importantly determine the individual's self-values; these self-values, have an important bearing upon self-esteem.

Attribution and References

Rosenberg, Morris. 1989. Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Revised edition. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.