Using Item Response Theory to Develop Revised (SSOSH-7) and Ultra-Brief (SSOSH-3) Self-Stigma of Seeking Help Scales

Rachel E. Brenner, Kimberly F. Colvin, Joseph H. Hammer, David L. Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The current research developed ultra-brief (SSOSH-3) and revised (SSOSH-7) versions of the Self-Stigma of Seeking Help scale. Item response theory was used to examine the amount of information each item provided across the latent variable scale and test whether items functioned differently across women and men. In a sample of 857 community adults, results supported removal of three reverse-scored items to create the SSOSH-7. The three most informative items were retained to create the SSOSH-3. Differential item functioning testing supported the use of both versions across women and men. Results replicated in an undergraduate student sample (n = 661). In both samples, the SSOSH-3 (αs =.82-.87) and SSOSH-7 (αs =.87-.89) demonstrated evidence of internal consistency. The SSOSH-3 (rs ≥.89) and SSOSH-7 (rs ≥.97) were highly correlated with the original SSOSH across samples and demonstrated significant correlations with help-seeking constructs and in similar magnitude to the original SSOSH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1488-1499
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Self-Stigma of Seeking Help scale
  • help seeking
  • item response theory
  • mental health stigma
  • self-stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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