An item response theory analysis of Harter's Self-Perception Profile for Children or why strong clinical scales should be distrusted

Egberink, I. J. L. & Meijer, R. R., Jun-2011, In : Assessment. 18, 2, p. 201-212 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The authors investigated the psychometric properties of the subscales of the Self-Perception Profile for Children with item response theory (IRT) models using a sample of 611 children. Results from a nonparametric Mokken analysis and a parametric IRT approach for boys (n = 268) and girls (n = 343) were compared. The authors found that most scales formed weak scales and that measurement precision was relatively low and only present for latent trait values indicating low self-perception. The subscales Physical Appearance and Global Self-Worth formed one strong scale. Children seem to interpret Global Self-Worth items as if they measure Physical Appearance. Furthermore, the authors found that strong Mokken scales (such as Global Self-Worth) consisted mostly of items that repeat the same item content. They conclude that researchers should be very careful in interpreting the total scores on the different Self-Perception Profile for Children scales. Finally, implications for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2011


  • personality assessment, item response theory, measurement precision, graded response model, Mokken scaling, ESTEEM, ADOLESCENCE, SATISFACTION, PERSONALITY, PERFORMANCE, ADULTHOOD, SECURITY, BEHAVIOR, TRAITS, HEALTH

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