The emperor's clothes: Assessing the validity of scores on the Tennessee self-concept scale

Sheryl L. Bishop, David P. Walling, Betty A. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In 1985, Tzeng, Maxey, Fortier, and Landis conducted an extensive psychometric study of the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS) and reported a systematic failure to validate the factor structure of either the eight clinical scales or the two global internal/external scales. Despite these findings, the TSCS has continued to be used in both clinical and research settings to investigate facets of the self-concept. One possible limitation of the Tzeng et al. study was the inherent heterogeneity in the three samples used, which could have masked factor structures. To investigate whether this was the case, the present study replicated the psychometric analyses in a homogeneous sample of female nursing and medical educators from a health science center and university in the Southwest. Results strongly mirrored the findings of Tzeng et al., challenging the proposed theoretical structure while supporting the reliable measurement of some, as yet unclear, dimension by the present instrument. Implications for the use of the TSCS as it now stands are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-163
Number of pages14
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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