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Self-regard: a new measure
Am J Psychiatry 1996;153:382-385.
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OBJECTIVE: The status of patients and research subjects is usually considered in terms of self-reported symptoms. Measures seldom include disturbances in a conscious sense of the self. An additional brief measure of the sense of current self-regard is desirable, since a conscious lapse in an integrated self-concept may occur under stressful circumstances. The authors constructed and tested such a measure. METHOD: Clinical interviews had indicated five common experiences that occurred more frequently as complaints during stress-induced regressions in the sense of the self as a functioning mind-body agency. An anchored five-item scale, the Self-Regard Questionnaire, was constructed and tested with 79 subjects who were in the midst of grief from the death of a spouse. Data analyses included checks on the internal coherence of questionnaire scale scores and their association with symptom, personality, and social desirability measures. RESULTS: The five-item Self-Regard Questionnaire was completed quickly, in less than a minute, and led to internally consistent and unique data. Low levels of overall self-regard were correlated with higher levels of distress and predicted prolonged distress. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the questionnaire is a useful, quick, and easy-to-score self-report tool for assessing, and reassessing over time, current experiences of the self. The five questions may also be useful to clinicians who evaluate patients in contexts other than research.

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