Self-Criticism in the General Population: Development and Psychometric Properties of the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire Self-Criticism 4 (DEQ-SC4)

Ana N. Tibubos, Antonia M. Werner, Elmar Brähler, Golan Shahar, Mareike Ernst, Iris Reiner, Manfred E. Beutel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Self-criticism is a stable personality trait identified as a serious risk factor for psychopathology and weight-related health problems. Therefore, it is relevant to epidemiological research, which requires a relatively brief instrument for measuring trait self-criticism in the general population. The current study introduces a brief measure of self-criticism and presents empirical results that inform on its reliability and validity. Based on the six-item version of the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire Self-Criticism (DEQ-SC6), thorough psychometric analyses on a German representative sample (N = 2,516) were conducted and resulted in the final four-item scale: the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire Self-Criticism 4 (DEQ-SC4). Its internal consistency was good and a one-dimensional factor structure showed a good model fit. In terms of construct validity, the DEQ-SC4 was moderately linked to symptoms of depression and a non-linear association between the DEQ-SC4 and body mass index was observed, with the highest levels of self-criticism reported by underweight participants. In addition, the DEQ-SC4 showed high positive correlations with another short version of the DEQ-SC and the Big Five personality dimensions assessed in samples of university students (N = 206) and patients (N = 55), meeting theoretically-based expectations. The DEQ-SC4 therefore represents a brief screening measure of self-criticism in the general population with good psychometric properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-86
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Volume105
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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