A Multi-Method Psychometric Assessment of a Self-Control Scale: Does Gender Matter?

Christopher L. Gibson, University of South Florida

ABSTRACT
Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) theory has sparked an empirical debate surrounding the psychometric properties of the widely used Grasmick et al. self-control scale. Does this scale measure a unidimensional trait, a multidimensional trait, or do item responses depend on the individual's level of self-control? While classical and objective measurement techniques have been employed resulting in conflicting answers, no study has thoroughly investigated this scale's construct validity across gender. Using data collected from a sample of students attending a university in the southern U.S., the current study assesses the dimensionality of the scale using both second-order SEM measurement models and item response theory (IRT) rasch models to make comparisons across methods and gender groups. Implications for both theory and measurement are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006