A Japanese version of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale: translation and equivalence assessment

J Psychosom Res. 2007 May;62(5):589-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2006.11.004.


Objective: A Japanese version of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) was developed through the forward-backward translation procedure.

Methods: Married couples consisting of a native English speaker and a native Japanese speaker acted as translators to enhance the representativeness of language in the target population. Multiple translations were produced, and a panel of reviewers identified problems in conceptual and semantic equivalence between the original scale and the translated version. The Japanese version was altered accordingly with reference to alternate Japanese forms from the original English to Japanese translations. The altered translation was again retranslated into English, and problematic differences were checked. This forward-backward process was repeated until satisfactory agreement had been attained. The RSES was administered to 222 native English speakers, and the developed Japanese version (RSES-J) was administered to 1320 native Japanese speakers.

Results: Factor analysis revealed nearly identical factor structure and structural coefficients of the items between two sets of data. Target rotation confirmed the factorial agreement of the two scales in different cultural groups. High Cronbach's alpha coefficients supported the reliability of test scores on both versions.

Conclusion: The equivalence between the RSES and the RSES-J was supported in this study. It is suggested that the RSES and the RSES-J are potential tools for comparative cross-cultural studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept*
  • Translating*