Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale, Second Edition

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale assesses self-concept in children and adolescents. It can be used as a research tool, to monitor change in self-concept over time, and as a screening tool for identifying individuals who need further testing or treatment.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

Ages 7-18

Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration


Method of administration


Number of items


Item format


Administration time

10-15 minutes

Available languages


Fee for use Fee charged by developer
Credentials required for administration

Qualification Level B

Overall score reporting

A total self-concept score is reported.

Subscore reporting

There are six subscores:

  • Behavioral adjustment
  • Intellectual and school status
  • Physical appearance and attributes
  • Freedom from anxiety
  • Popularity
  • Happiness and satisfaction
Scoring procedures

The measure is self-scored, with scoring services available from the assessment developers.

Interpretive information

Normalized T scores are reported.

Evidence of Technical Quality
Populations for which technical quality evidence has been collected

A large national sample of students from elementary, middle, and high schools (N=1,387).

Reliability evidence

Internal consistency (alpha) estimates range from 0.74 to 0.81 for the subscales, and 0.91 for the overall score (Piers & Herzberg, 2002).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
Items were adapted from the originally developed Piers-Harris. Those items were based on research that categorized children's statements about what they liked and disliked about themselves (Jersild, 1952).
Evidence based on response processes
Pilot administration of the original Piers-Harris to a sample of children in grades 3, 4 and 5 to revise items to improve clarity and comprehensibility (Piers & Herzberg, 2002).
Evidence based on internal structure
Exploratory factor analysis supported the six subscales (Piers & Herzberg, 2002)
Evidence based on relations with other variables
Scale scores correlate with measures of anger and aggressive attitudes, as well as measures of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in children (Piers & Herzberg, 2002). Scale scores also show significant correlations with other measures of self-concept (Piers & Herzberg, 2002).
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure wpspublish.com

Piers, E. V. "The Piers-Harris children's self concept scale," Western Psychological Services, 2002.

Jersild, A. T. "In Search of Self," 1952.


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.