Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 88 Issue 4 (December 2015), Pages 351-480

Forms of Self‐Criticising/Attacking & Self‐Reassuring Scale: Psychometric properties and normative study (pages 438-452)


The Forms of Self‐Criticising/Attacking & Self‐Reassuring Scale (FSCRS, Gilbert, Clarke, Hempel, Miles, & Irons, 2004, Br. J. Clin. Psychology, 43, 31) is a self‐report instrument that measures self‐criticism and self‐reassurance. It has shown good reliability and has been used in several different studies and in a range of different populations. The aim of this study was to explore its psychometric proprieties in a large clinical and non‐clinical sample, to establish its reliability. In addition, to our knowledge, this is the first study to provide normative data to FSCRS. Differences in population scores will also be addressed.


Data were collated from 12 different studies, resulting in 887 non‐clinical participants and 167 mixed diagnosis patients who completed the FSCRS.


A confirmatory factor analysis shows that both in non‐clinical and clinical samples, the three‐factor model of FSCRS is a well‐adjusted measure for assessing the two forms of self‐criticism and a form of self‐reassurance. Normative data for the scale are presented. Comparing the two populations, the non‐clinical was more self‐reassuring and less self‐critical than the clinical one. Comparing genders, in the non‐clinical population men were more self‐reassuring and less self‐critical than women. No significant gender differences were found in the clinical population.


Taken together, results corroborate previous findings about the link between self‐criticism and clinical population, which stresses the need to both assess and address it in therapy. Results also confirm that FSCRS is a robust and reliable instrument, which now can aid clinicians and researchers to have a better understanding of the results, taking into account the norms presented.

Practitioner points

Practical implications
  • The normative study of the FSCRS facilitates a better understanding of clinical and research results;
  • The paper accounts for large clinical and non‐clinical populations, which contribute to robust findings;
  • Cultural and age differences should be carefully addressed;
  • Generalizations to different psychopathologies deserve attention, as the clinical population considered here derived mainly from depressed participants.

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