The factor structure of the Forms of Self-Criticising/Attacking & Self-Reassuring Scale in thirteen distinct populations
There is considerable evidence that self-criticism plays a major role in the vulnerability to and recovery from psychopathology. Methods to measure this process, and its change over time, are therefore important for research in psychopathology and well-being. This study examined the factor structure of a widely used measure, the Forms of Self-Criticising/Attacking & Self-Reassuring Scale in thirteen nonclinical samples (N = 7510) from twelve different countries: Australia (N = 319), Canada (N = 383), Switzerland (N = 230), Israel (N = 476), Italy (N = 389), Japan (N = 264), the Netherlands (N = 360), Portugal (N = 764), Slovakia (N = 1326), Taiwan (N = 417), the United Kingdom 1 (N = 1570), the United Kingdom 2 (N = 883), and USA (N = 331). This study used more advanced analyses than prior reports: a bifactor item-response theory model, a two-tier item-response theory model, and a non-parametric item-response theory (Mokken) scale analysis. Although the original three-factor solution for the FSCRS (distinguishing between Inadequate-Self, Hated-Self, and Reassured-Self) had an acceptable fit, two-tier models, with two general factors (Self-criticism and Self-reassurance) demonstrated the best fit across all samples. This study provides preliminary evidence suggesting that this two-factor structure can be used in a range of nonclinical contexts across countries and cultures. Inadequate-Self and Hated-Self might not by distinct factors in nonclinical samples. Future work may benefit from distinguishing between self-correction versus shame-based self-criticism.