Contingencies of Self-Worth Scale (CSWS)

The Contingencies of Self-Worth Scale (CSWS) is a 35-item measure that assesses 7 sources of self-esteem among college students: academics, appearance, approval from others, competition, family support, God’s love and virtue.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Others’ approval

1.I don’t care what other people think of me.
2.What others think of me has no effect on what I think about myself.
3.I don’t care if other people have a negative opinion about me.
4.My self-esteem depends on the opinions others hold of me.
5.I can’t respect myself if others don’t respect me.


6.My self-esteem does not depend on whether or not I feel attractive.
7.My self-esteem is influenced by how attractive I think my face or facial features are.
8.My sense of self-worth suffers whenever I think I don’t look good.
9.My self-esteem is unrelated to how I feel about the way my body looks.
10.When I think I look attractive, I feel good about myself.


11.Doing better than others gives me a sense of self-respect.
12.Knowing that I am better than others on a task raises my self-esteem.
13.My self-worth is affected by how well I do when I am competing with others.
14.My self-worth is influenced by how well I do on competitive tasks.
15.I feel worthwhile when I perform better than others on a task or skill.

Academic competence

16.My self-esteem is influenced by my academic performance.
17.I feel better about myself when I know I’m doing well academically.
18.Doing well in school gives me a sense of self-respect.
19.I feel bad about myself whenever my academic performance is lacking.
20.My opinion about myself isn’t tied to how well I do in school.

Family support

21.It is important to my self-respect that I have a family that cares about me.
22.When my family members are proud of me, my sense of self-worth increases.
23.Knowing that my family members love me makes me feel good about myself.
24.When I don’t feel loved by my family, my self-esteem goes down.
25.My self-worth is not influenced by the quality of my relationships with my family members.


26.My self-esteem depends on whether or not I follow my moralethical principles.
27.My self-esteem would suffer if I did something unethical.
28.I couldn’t respect myself if I didn’t live up to a moral code.
29.Whenever I follow my moral principles, my sense of self-respect gets a boost.
30.Doing something I know is wrong makes me lose my self-respect.

God’s love

31.My self-esteem goes up when I feel that God loves me.’
32.I feel worthwhile when I have God’s love.
33.My self-esteem would suffer if I didn’t have God’s love.
34.My self-worth is based on God’s love.
35.When I think that I’m disobeying God, I feel bad about myself.

Response Options:
1 (Strongly Disagree) to 7 (Strongly Agree), with the midpoint, 4, labeled ‘Neutral’.

Scoring Procedures

Total scores can be calculated by averaging the scores for all items.

Original Citation

Crocker, J., Luhtanen, R. K., Cooper, M. L., & Bouvrette, A. (2003). Contingencies of self-worth in college students: theory and measurement. Journal of personality and social psychology, 85(5), 894.

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Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

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Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








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