NLSY79 Appendix 21: Attitudinal Scales

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1979 Cohort

NLSY79 Appendix 21: Attitudinal Scales

The NLSY79 dataset features several attitudinal scale scores. To help researchers utilize these data more easily, summary score variables for the following scales have now been constructed:

Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale: 1980, 1987, 2006 NLSY79

The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale is designed to measure the self-evaluation that an individual makes and customarily maintains. See References.

This appendix subsection is divided into two parts:

  1. Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale items and scoring
  2. Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale IRT item parameter estimates, scores and standard errors with custom weighted Z-scores and percentile ranks

1. Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale items and scoring

Table 4: The NLSY79 Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale questions

Item Question Reference # (1980)
Reference # (1987) Reference # (2006)
1 I am a person of worth. R0303500 R2349100 T0899800
2 I have a number of good qualities. R0303600 R2349200 T0899801
3 I am inclined to feel that I am a failure. R0303700 R2349300 T0899802
4 I am able to do things as well as most other people. R0303800 R2349400 T0899803
5 I felt I do not have much to be proud of. R0303900 R2349500 T0899804
6 I take a positive attitude toward myself. R0304000 R2349600 T0899805
7 I am satisfied with myself. R0304100 R2349700 T0899806
8 I wish I could have more respect for myself. R0304200 R2349800 T0899807
9 I certainly feel useless at times. R0304300 R2349900 T0899808
10 At times I think I am no good at all. R0304400 R2350000 T0899809

Scoring for items 3, 5, 8, 9, 10:

strongly agree=0
agree=1
disagree=2
strongly disagree=3

Scoring for items 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 is reversed so that a higher score indicates higher self-esteem.

Scores of 10 items were summed. Total score could range from 0 to 30 points. If one item is missing, the scale score is coded as missing.

Reference Number (accessed via NLS Investigator)

R0304410 (1980)
R2350010 (1987)
T08998.10 (2006)

2. Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale IRT item parameter estimates, scores and standard errors with custom weighted Z-scores and percentile ranks

The NLSY79 and NLSY79 Child and Young Adult datasets now include Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale variables in select years that represent item response theory (IRT) parameter estimates and IRT scores and their standard errors of measurement. Also available are created variables that provide a custom-weighted z-score and precentile rank. Click here for a PDF containing a detailed description and discussion of these variables.

Pearlin Mastery Scale: 1992 NLSY79

The Pearlin Mastery Scale is designed to measure self-concept and references the extent to which individuals perceive themselves in control of forces that significantly impact their lives. See References.

This appendix subsection is divided into two parts:

  1. Pearlin Mastery Scale items and scoring
  2. Pearlin Mastery Scale IRT item parameter estimates, scores and standard errors with custom weighted Z-scores and percentile ranks

Pearlin Mastery Scale Items and Scoring

Table 5: The 1992 NLSY79 Pearlin Mastery Scale questions

Item Question Reference Number
1 No way I can solve some of the problems I have. R3894200
2 Sometimes I feel that I am being pushed around in life. R3894300
3 I have little control over the things that happen to me. R3894400
4 I can do just about anything I really set my mind to. R3894500
5 I often feel helpless in dealing with the problems of life. R3894600
6 What happens to me in the future mostly depends on me. R3894700
7 There is little I can do to change many of the important things in my life. R3894800

Scoring for items 4 and 6:

strongly agree=4
agree=3
disagree=2
strongly disagree=1

Scoring for items 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 is reversed so that higher scores represent greater mastery.

Scores of 10 items were summed. Total score could range from 7 to 28 points. If one item is missing, the scale score is coded as missing.

Reference Number (accessed via NLS Investigator)

R3894810

Pearlin Mastery Scale IRT item parameter estimates, scores and standard errors with custom weighted Z-scores and percentile ranks

The NLSY79 and NLSY79 Child and Young Adult datasets now include Pearlin Mastery Scale variables in select years that represent item response theory (IRT) parameter estimates and IRT scores and their standard errors of measurement. Also available are created variables that provide a custom-weighted z-score and precentile rank. Click here for a PDF containing a detailed description and discussion of these variables.

Rotter-Locus of Control Scale: 1979 NLSY79

The Rotter-Locus of Control Scale is designed to measure the extent to which individuals believe they have control over their lives through self-motivation or self-determination (internal control) as opposed to the extent that the environment (that is, chance, fate, luck) controls their lives (external control). See References.

Items and scoring

Table 6: The 1979 NLSY79 Rotter -- Locus of control questions

Item Question Reference Number
1 Pair 1, statement A R0153000
2 Pair 1, statement B R0153100
3 Pair 2, statement A R0153200
4 Pair 2, statement B R0153300
5 Pair 3, statement A R0153400
6 Pair 3, statement B R0153500
7 Pair 4, statement A R0153600
8 Pair 4, statement B R0153700

Scores are generated for each pair of items.

Internal control:

Much closer=1
Slightly closer =2

External control:

Much closer=3
Slightly closer=4

Scores of 4 pairs were summed. Total score could range from 4 to 16 points. If one item is missing, the scale score is coded as missing.

Reference Number (accessed via NLS Investigator)

R0153710

References

Pearlin, Leonard I.; Lieberman, Morton A.; Menaghan, Elizabeth G.; and Joseph T. Mullan. 1981. "The Stress Process." Journal of Health and Social Behavior, V.22, No. 4 (December): 337-356.

Rosenberg, Morris. 1965. Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Ross, Catherine E., and John Mirowsky. 1989. "Explaining the Social Patterns of Depression: Control and Problem Solving-- or Support and Talking?" Journal of Health and Social Behavior, V.30, No. 2 (June): 206-219.

Rotter, Julian B.  1966. "Generalized Expectancies for Internal Versus External Control of Reinforcement." Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 80 (1):1-28.