State Self-Esteem Scale (SSES)

The State Self-Esteem Scale (SSES) is a 20 item measure that captures social, performance, and appearance related self-esteem. SSES was validated in 5 studies to examine the measure's ability to capture self-esteem changes in classroom, laboratory, and clinical therapy settings.


Geographies Tested: Canada

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


1. I feel confident about my abilities.

2. I am worried about whether I am regarded as a success or failure.*

3. I feel satisfied with the way my body looks right now.

4. I feel frustrated or rattled about my performance.*

5. I feel that I am having trouble understanding things that I read.*

6. I feel that others respect and admire me.

7. I am dissatisfied with my weight.*

8. I feel self-conscious.*

9. I feel as smart as others.

10. I feel displeased with myself.*

11. I feel good about myself.

12. I am pleased with my appearance right now.

13. I am worried about what other people think of me.*

14. I feel confident that I understand things.

15. I feel inferior to others at this moment.*

16. I feel unattractive.*

17. I feel concerned about the impression I am making.*

18. I feel that I have less scholastic ability right now than others.*

19. I feel like I'm not doing well.*

20. I am worried about looking foolish. *

**Items are reverse coded*

Response Options

Not at all - 1

A little bit - 2

Somewhat - 3

Very much - 4

Extremely - 5

Scoring Procedures

Items are averaged to create a scale. Higher scores on the State Self-Esteem Scale indicate higher levels of self-esteem and lower scores indicate lower reported self-esteem.

Original Citation

Heatherton, T. F., & Polivy, J. (1991). Development and validation of a scale for measuring state self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60(6), 895-910.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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