Normative studies with the Scale for Interpersonal Behaviour (SIB): II. US students. A cross-cultural comparison with Dutch data

Willem A. Arrindell, K. Robert Bridges, Jan Van der Ende, Janet S. St. Lawrence, Lisa Gray-Shellberg, Richard Harnish, Richard Rogers, Robbert Sanderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The Scale for Interpersonal Behaviour (SIB), a multidimensional, self-report measure of state assertiveness, was administered to a nationwide sample of 2375 undergraduates enrolled at 11 colleges and universities across the USA. The SIB was developed in the Netherlands for the independent assessment of both distress associated with self-assertion in a variety of social situations and the likelihood of engaging in a specific assertive response. This is done with four factorially-derived, first-order dimensions: (i) Display of negative feelings (Negative assertion); (ii) Expression of and dealing with personal limitations; (iii) Initiating assertiveness; and (iv) Praising others and the ability to deal with compliments/praise of others (Positive assertion). The present study was designed to determine the cross-national invariance of the original Dutch factors and the construct validity of the corresponding dimensions. It also set out to develop norms for a nationwide sample of US students. The results provide further support for the reliability, factorial and construct validity of the SIB. Compared to their Dutch equivalents, US students had meaningfully higher distress in assertiveness scores on all SIB scales (medium to large effect sizes), whereas differences on the performance scales reflected small effect sizes. The cross-national differences in distress scores were hypothesized to have originated from the American culture being more socially demanding with respect to interpersonal competence than the Dutch, and from the perceived threats and related cognitive appraisals that are associated with such demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1461-1479
Number of pages19
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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