The Factor Structure of the Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale in an Undergraduate University Sample

Article excerpt

The present study examined the psychometric properties of the Persian version of the Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale (RCBS) using confirmatory factor analysis among (n = 300) college students. Results indicated that unidimensional measurement model of the RCBS did not provide the best fit for the data. Then three measurement models were tested, and the results showed that a two-factor model taking into account differences in the direction of item wording provided a satisfactory and parsimonious fit to the data. Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis was used to better understand the factorial invariance of the scale across genders, and indicated that two-factor structure of the RCBS was equivalent across genders. Supplementary t-tests revealed no other gender differences on shyness.

Keywords: shynes, Cheek-Buss scale, confirmatory factor analysis (factor analysis)

Iran J Psychiatry 2011; 6:19-24

Entering university is a life transition that is particularly suited for the study of shyness in adults. The new social world of universities offers the freshmen many opportunities for socializing with peers, making friends, dating, falling in love, and finding a partner (1). Therefore, establishing peer relationships during the transition to college may be more difficult for shy students due to their propensity for social withdrawal. Consequently, without adequate social support, shy students may suffer during the transition in terms of psychological well-being and adaptive functioning. Shyness is a personality trait that has been empirically shown over the past several decades to be a reliable predictor of both poor physical and mental health among young adults (2-4). In fact, shyness is an affective-behavioral syndrome characterized by social anxiety and interpersonal inhibition that results from the prospect or presence of interpersonal evaluation (5) Prevalence estimates of shyness are much higher than those of social phobia, ranging from 20 to 48% (6).

Shyness has a conceptual similarity with other constructs as social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety exists on a continuum from very mild, nonclinical social anxiety (i.e., shyness) to severe, clinical levels of social phobia

Shyness is associated with a number of negative outcomes, including fear of negative evaluation by others (7), low self-esteem (8), difficulty initiating new relationships (9), problems establishing and

maintaining close and satisfying relationships (9, 10),¬ depression, loneliness, fearfulness, social anxiety,

neuroticism, and low self-esteem, as well as psychosomatic difficulties such as allergies and gastrointestinal problems (11).

Jones et al. (12) found that five self-report questionnaire measures of shyness, including an 11- item version of the Cheek-Buss scale (13), were substantially inter-correlated (mean r = 0.77, range 0.70-0.86; all Ns > 1135). Compared with the other measures of shyness, the Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale (RCBS) is widely used in psychology research (13).

A large body of research has also examined the psychometric properties of the self-report questionnaire (12-14). For instance, item analysis shows that the RCBS has sound psychometric properties and that all the 14 items contribute effectively to the scale. The value of coefficient alpha is consistent with the values reported in previous research for all the versions of the scale. Cheek and Buss (12) reported 90-day test-retest reliability coefficient for the 9-item version to be 0.74 (n = 96). Melchior and Cheek (15) reported the 45-day retest reliability of the 20-item version as 0.91 (13). There is extensive evidence of the validity of the various versions of the scale in terms of predicting selfand other-ratings of shyness, self-and other-rated anxiety during social interactions, negative selfappraisals, attributions for social outcomes, and observational measures of verbal and non-verbal behaviors (16, 17). …