A Psychometric Analysis of the Brief Self-Control Scale

Patrick D. Manapat, Michael C. Edwards, David P. MacKinnon, Russell A. Poldrack, Lisa A. Marsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS) is a widely used measure of self-control, a construct associated with beneficial psychological outcomes. Several studies have investigated the psychometric properties of the BSCS but have failed to reach consensus. This has resulted in an unstable and ambiguous understanding of the scale and its psychometric properties. The current study sought resolution by implementing scale evaluation approaches guided by modern psychometric literature. Additionally, our goal was to provide a more comprehensive item analysis via the item response theory (IRT) framework. Results from the current study support both unidimensional and multidimensional factor structures for the 13-item version of the BSCS. The addition of an IRT analysis provided a new perspective on item- and test-level functioning. The goal of a more defensible psychometric grounding for the BSCS is to promote greater consistency, stability, and trust in future results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-412
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • brief self-control scale
  • factor analysis
  • item response theory
  • psychometrics
  • scale evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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