The Self-as-Context Scale: Development and preliminary psychometric properties

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Zettle, Robert D.
Gird, Suzanne R.
Webster, Blake K.
Carrasquillo, Nakisha
Swails, Jeffrey A.
Burdsal, Charles A.

Zettle, Robert D.; Gird, Suzanne R.; Webster, Blake K.; Carrasquillo, Nakisha; Swails, Jeffrey A.; Burdsal, Charles A. 2018. The Self-as-Context Scale: Development and preliminary psychometric properties. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, vol. 10;pp 64-74


Until recently, multiple measures of all six processes posited to contribute to psychological flexibility had been created with the exception of self-as-context. To address this deficit, we conducted a series of six studies in developing and evaluating the psychometric properties of the Self-as-Context Scale (SACS) as a brief (10 items) self-report inventory. Factor analyses identified a replicable structure that supported the derivation of two moderately correlated subscales, Centering and Transcending. Centering appears to encompass reacting calmly to unwanted psychological experiences, while Transcending reflects the type of invariant perspective-taking that characterizes the observing self. The SACS and its two subscale scores displayed acceptable levels of internal and test-retest reliability in college student samples. Scores were sufficiently unrelated to social desirability and neuroticism and generally correlated with other criterion measures, such as psychological inflexibility, in predictable ways. Stronger associations with a measure of spirituality and another recently-developed self-as-context questionnaire provided additional support for construct validity, while also suggesting, in conjunction with related factor analyses, that Transcending reflects a dimension of the contextual self not fully captured by other instruments. As expected, a clinical sample scored significantly lower on the SACS and its subscales. Strengths and limitations of this project as well as recommendations for further research are discussed.

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