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Construction and initial validation of the Self-Worth Protection Scale


Thompson, T and Dinnel, DL, Construction and initial validation of the Self-Worth Protection Scale, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 73 pp. 89-107. ISSN 0007-0998 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1348/000709903762869932


Background. The self-worth theory of achievement motivation holds that in certain circumstances students stand to gain by deliberately withdrawing effort. When failure occurs despite effort, students are likely to conclude that failure resulted from lack of ability. Thus, withdrawing effort offers a defence against conclusions of low ability, thereby protecting self-worth. Aim. We undertook to assess the psychometric properties of the Self-Worth Protection Scale (SWPS). Sample. Data were obtained from 243 participants (Study I) and 411 participants (Study 2) enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses at a university in the United states. Method. We administered a number of scales, including the SWPS and scales assessing a fear of negative evaluation, academic self-esteem, uncertain global self-evaluations, self-handicapping, and causal uncertainty. Results. Exploratory factor analysis indicated a three-factor solution (ability doubts, the importance of ability as a criterion of self-worth, and an avoidance orientation) utilising 33 of the original 44 items. A confirmatory factor analysis indicated that this three-factor solution was a poor fit of the data. After modifying the model, a confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a three-factor solution with 26 of the original items and a higher order factor of self-worth protection was an adequate fit of the data. Reliability measures were acceptable for the three subscales and total score. The total score of the SWPS was positively correlated with theoretically related constructs, demonstrating construct validity. Conclusions. The SWPS appears to be a psychometrically sound scale to assist in identifying individuals who manifest self-worth protection in achievement situations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Personality and individual differences
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Thompson, T (Dr Ted Thompson)
ID Code:26263
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2011-09-27

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