Longitudinal invariance of measurement and structure of global self-concept: a population-based study examining trajectories among adolescents with and without chronic illness

J Pediatr Psychol. 2013 May;38(4):425-37. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jss112. Epub 2012 Nov 5.


Objective: The objectives of this study were to determine whether a measure of global self-concept demonstrated longitudinal measurement invariance between adolescents aged 10-19 years with and without chronic illness and to document differences in their global self-concept trajectories over time.

Methods: Data were obtained from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (N = 10,064). Global self-concept was measured using a scale based on the Self-Determination Questionnaire.

Results: 16 percent of adolescents had chronic illness. There was evidence of partial longitudinal invariance in global self-concept between adolescents with and without chronic illness. Controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, adolescents with a chronic illness exhibited lower levels of global self-concept and more precipitous declines over time.

Conclusions: The results from this study suggest that comparisons of global self-concept between adolescents with and without chronic illness are meaningful and, compared to healthy controls, adolescents with chronic illness are at risk for low global self-concept.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease / psychology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Risk
  • Self Concept*
  • Young Adult