Rosenberg self-esteem scale: SPSS Script

The Rosenberg self-esteem scale is a psychological inventory based on a 4-point likert scale and consists of 10 questions. It is used extensively to measure self-esteem across the social sciences.

Below is a short script for SPSS which will help speed up the coding process. 

All items should be labelled as separate numeric variables as R1, R2...etc

The script computes and prints the results for all reverse-scored items and then calculates the total score. 

*Part 1 - reverse scoring of specific items

COMPUTE R3 = 5 - Q3.
COMPUTE R5 = 5 - Q5.
COMPUTE R8 = 5 - Q8.
COMPUTE R9 = 5 - Q9.
COMPUTE R10 = 5 - Q10.

*Part 2 - total score

COMPUTE Rosenberg = Q1+Q2+R3+Q4+R5+Q6+Q7+R8+R9+R10.


  /VARIABLES=Q1 Q2 R3 Q4 R5 Q6 Q7 R8 R9 R10


  1. Hi what do I do if I ran the reliability test but it displays the message ‘the value is negative due to a negative average covariance among items. This violates reliability model assumptions. You may want to check item codings’ even if I have reverse coded? I am using the Rosenberg self esteem scale please help I’m so bad with stats! :(

  2. I'm having the same issue with the RSES and don't know how to fix it. I've checked and rechecked my coding but it's still negative. When I didn't reverse code it, it was positive and in line with the literature


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