Reliability of SEI
Three subtests, consisting of 20 questions each, comprise the 81-item Steffenhagen / Burns Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI). Response is measured by a 5-point Likert-type scale on continuums: "Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree," and "Very Often" or "Almost Never," depending on the nature of the question. Selfesteem has been defined in terms of three levels of ego: the world-immersed level of ego (situational), the transcendental level of ego (transcendental), and the egostrength level of ego. The three subtests, I, II, and III (Situational, Transcendental, and Ego Strength), are trifurcated to correspond with the operationalized concept of self-esteem introduced by Steffenhagen ( 1983) and elaborated by Steffenhagen and Burns in subsequent work. Each test measures three elements within three components of individual self-esteem at their respective levels: Test I (Situational) measures the elements of status/courage/flexibility within the components mental/ physical/ social. Test II measures success/ encouragement/ support within body/ mind/spirit. Test III measures perception/ creativity /adaptation within social interest/degree of activity/goal orientation. It was hypothesized that the degree of correlation between subtest I (situational), and subtest II (transcendental) would be the most significant when the score on subtest III (ego strength) was the highest. Results of the preliminary research were in the direction of the hypothesis ( Burns and Graper, 1985). Theoretical development of the fully operationalized concept of selfesteem postulates that individuals with low ego strength (as defined by subtest III) will have either an inappropriate shared reality orientation or an inability to integrate this orientation to develop more self-satisfying personality parameters. Therefore, when ego strength is high, there should be a corresponding correlation between the world-immersed level of ego (situation dominated), and the transcendental-level ego (which characterizes self-esteem at the internal construct level). Further, it was hypothesized that when the score on subtest III (ego strength) is low, the variability between subtest I (situational) and subtest II (transcendental) would be the greatest.
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Publication information: Book title: The Social Dynamics of Self-Esteem:Theory to Therapy. Contributors: R. A. Steffenhagen - Author, Jeff D. Burns - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1987. Page number: 223.
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