Identifying state self-criticism subscales within the Brief Symptoms Inventory: Analyses of data from Israeli young adults

Michael Pinus*, Dana Lassri*, Ofer Rahamim, Moran Schiller, Nirit Soffer-Dudek, Golan Shahar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent works in personality and psychopathology emphasize both trait and state self-criticism as transdiagnostic risk factors for mental disorders. Yet, common screening and intake measures do not include assessment of state self-criticism. We provide a reanalysis of data from nine samples (total N = 1442), with the aim to identify and validate a state self-criticism subscale within the Brief Symptoms Inventory (BSI), a popular and extensively researched instrument for the assessment of general and specific psychopathology. We identified four potential state self-criticism subscales, comprising three to five items, tapping the experience of self-criticism. All state self-criticism subscales demonstrated good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. In addition, all subscales were highly correlated with psychopathology and low psychological well-being, thus suggesting strong convergent validity. Furthermore, all subscales demonstrated incremental predictive validity, when predicting psychological distress, depression, brooding and suicidal ideations, above and beyond trait self-criticism. Interestingly, our results show no clear advantage for one subscale over the others. Findings contribute to contemporary personality science, attesting to the importance of assessing personality on both trait and state features. We discuss clinical implications and offer clinicians a brief alternative to longer screening methods, focusing on currently ‘inflamed’ and distressing aspects of experience, namely the self-critical experience.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number111989
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Assessment
  • Personality
  • Psychopathology
  • State self-criticism
  • Trait self-criticism


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