Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (School Form) (CSEI-SC)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The CSEI-SC measures self-concept, and it can be used for individual diagnosis, classroom screening, or pre-post evaluation.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

Ages 8-15

Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration


Method of administration

Paper/Pencil, Digital

Number of items


Item format

"Like me" or "unlike me"

Administration time

25-30 minutes

Available languages

Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, Spanish, Norwegian, Sesotho, Setswana

Fee for use Fee charged by developer
Credentials required for administration


Overall score reporting

An overall self-esteem score is reported.

Subscore reporting

There are five subscores:

  • Lie scale
  • General self
  • Social self-peers
  • Home-parents
  • School-academic
Scoring procedures

Scoring instructions are provided by the assessment developers with the purchase of the license to use.

Interpretive information

Norm-referenced scores are available (percentile ranks).

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

Technical quality evidence synthesized from several dozen studies, including studies of 5th, 9th and 12th grade students in rural schools (Spatz & Johnston, 1973); intact 5th grade classrooms in one school district (Johnson et al, 1983), 4th-8th graders (Kokenes, 1978), and 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th graders from a large city (Ketcham & Morse, 1965).

Reliability evidence

Internal consistency (alpha) estimates ranged from 0.61 to 0.71 for subscales. Overall score reliability was estimated at 0.86 (Johnson et al, 1983). Test-retest reliability was estimated in separate studies and ranged from 0.64 (three-year interval (Rubin, 1978) to 0.88 (five week interval (Coopersmith, 1967).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
Content was reviewed by a researcher for alignment to theorized constructs (Kokenes, 1974, 1978).
Evidence based on response processes
No information is available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on internal structure
Factor analyses have found support for a multidimensional structure (Kokenes, 1978; Ketcham & Morse, 1965), though the number of factors has ranged from five to nine. Ketcham and Morse (1965) found support for the five-subscale structure that is used for score reporting. No significant differences in mean scores were found based on age and gender (Johnson et al, 1983).
Evidence based on relations with other variables
Scores correlated with other measures of self-concept (Johnson et al, 1983), as well as with academic achievement. SEI scores were also found to be significantly associated with creativity, resistance to peer pressure, willingness to express unpopular opinions and perceptual constancy (Coopersmith, 1967). Scores have also been shown to predict perceived reciprocal liking (Simon & Bernstein, 1971), perceived popularity (Simon, 1972), as well as communication skills and family adjustment (Matteson, 1974).
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

Coopersmith, S. "The antecedents of self-esteem," Consulting Psychologists Pr. 1967.

Johnson, Brian W., Doris L. Redfield, Richard L. Miller, and Robert E. Simpson, "The Coopersmith self-esteem inventory: A construct validation study," Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 43, No. 3, 1983, pp. 907–913.

Rubin, R. A. "Stability of self‐esteem ratings and their relation to academic achievement: A longitudinal study," Psychology in the Schools, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1978, pp. 430–433.

Ketcham, W., and Morse, W.C. "Dimensions of Children’s Social and Psychological Development Related to School Achievement," Cooperative Research Project No. 1286, Office of Education, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1965.

Kokenes, B. "Grade level differences in factors of self-esteem," Developmental Psychology, Vol. 10, No. 6, 1974, pp. 954.

Kokenes, B. "A factor analytic study of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory," ). . , Adolescence, Vol. 13, No. 49, 1978, pp. 149.

Matteson, R. "Adolescent self-esteem, family communication, and marital satisfaction," The Journal of Psychology, Vol. 86, No. 1, 1974, pp. 35–47.

Simon, W. E. "Some sociometric evidence for validity of Coopersmith's Self-Esteem Inventory," Perceptual and Motor Skills, Vol. 34, No. 1, 1972, pp. 93–94.

Simon, W. E., & Bernstein, E. "The relationship between self-esteem and perceived reciprocal liking: a sociometric test of the theory of cognitive balance." The Journal of Psychology, Vol. 79, No. 2, 1971, pp. 197–201.


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.