Assessing self-esteem: An African perspective

David Watkins, Adebowale Akande, Elias Mpofu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This paper first examines the appropriateness for Kenyan students of the Self Description Questionnaire - 1 [SDQ-1 (Marsh, The Self Description Questionnaire I: SDQ Manual and Research Monograph, 1988) and the Shavelson model of self-concept on which it is based. The results of an administration of the SDQ-1 to 212 Kenyan 12-13 yr olds are reported. The internal consistency reliability coefficients obtained for the scales of the SDQ-1 were encouraging and factor analysis generally supported both the specific facets of the SDQ-1 and the existence of an underlying general self-concept factor. These results are then considered in relation to other evidence of the cross-cultural validity of both the SDQ-1 and the Shavelson model of the self. Tentative comparisons of the Kenyan data to those of previously reported Australian, Nigerian, and Zimbabwean children of the same age indicated that the children sampled from the African countries were more similar in terms of self-esteem to each other than to the Australians and that there were gender × country differences in perceptions of self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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