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In society, we have several roles that depend on social contexts. Perring-Chiello et al. (2008) revealed that the way roles were experienced was primarily a function of a specific living context and satisfying social resources. Double-track women and women who are homemakers display the highest social role satisfaction rates and have better health and well-being outcomes than other women. As the findings of this study show, the way of working has diversified in contemporary society and the style and position in our work concerns are deeply connected with role satisfaction. In addition, Maaref et al. (2015) showed that there are significant relations between identify styles, gender roles, and marital satisfaction. Lu et al. (2010) show that work-family conflict has a stronger detrimental effect on the role satisfaction of British people than on that of Taiwanese people. Based on these findings, the sense of role is a concern not only in relation to job opportunities but also in relation to the position in the family or cultural background.

The sense of role can affect our psychological factors positively. Reid & Hardy (1999) noted the importance of women's perceptions of the quality of their roles in relation to their overall well-being. Matud et al. (2002) show that the most relevant variable in the well-being of these women is the satisfaction in their work roles. The most satisfied women show less anxiety and depression and have higher self-esteem and a higher overall level of satisfaction. At the same time, it also can be a heavy stressor; Akgunduz (2015) showed that role ambiguity and role conflict are negatively associated with job performance.

Based on these viewpoints, the cognition of one's role is an important factor in recent psychology. The sense of role in particular situations has been investigated in previous studies. The findings focused on specific job types, such as nurse (Brennan, 2009), or a generation of older adults was accumulated (Moen et al., 2000). These findings offer important suggestions, and it is assumed that we have a general sense of role satisfaction, which does not depend on any special situation such as a job position. The main purpose of this study is to hypothesize the existence of the general sense of role satisfaction and device a scale to measure it. We call the concept "rolefulness" in this study, and it is defined as the continuous sense of role satisfaction we have in our daily lives.

We also hypothesized that rolefulness includes two aspects. One is the social aspect and the other is the more individual aspect. Riesman's (1961) concept of the "inner-directed" and "other-directed" personalities is suggestive. An inner-directed personality is defined as one that is guided by one's own conscience and values rather than external pressures to conform. An other-directed personality is defined as one guided by values derived from external influences. The locus of control (Rotter, 1966) includes two core factors: "internal" and "external." An internal person is one who believes they can control their life and an external person believes their decisions and life are controlled by environmental factors (chance, or fate) that they cannot influence. Rolefulness also includes these two aspects, "social rolefulness" and "internal rolefulness." Social rolefulness is a sense of role satisfaction based on social experiences and relationships with others, while internal rolefulness is a more internalized feeling of role satisfaction and becomes the basis of the cognition for individuality or confidence.

The sense of being accepted by others is a key concept in the adolescent psychology and is important for both communication and the ability to construct appropriate relationships with others (Asai, 2013; Ishimoto, 2010). This sense of acceptance is referred to by the word "Ibasho" in Japanese, literally meaning "whereabouts" or "a place of my own." Norisada (2008) defined this term using four important factors related to adolescent communication: the sense of authenticity, or confidence in one's own identity; the sense of role, or the role one plays in society; the sense of perceived acceptance, or the extent to which one feels accepted by others; and the sense of relief, or how secure one feels in one's relationships with others. As these studies show, the sense of role is considered a factor of Ibasho in Japanese literature. However, there have been no attempts to especially focus on the sense of role in previous studies. The main aim of this study is to examine the structure of rolefulness in Japanese adolescents based on the hypothesis.

Study 1

Asai (2013) developed the Ibasho Scale for Japanese Female University Students, which was based on Norisada's (2008) Ibasho Scale for Adolescents. Norisada's scale, as previously described, comprises four subscales exploring the sense of authenticity, sense of role, sense of perceived acceptance, and sense of relief. Respondents are required to imagine a specific person (e.g., father, mother, or friend) before answering the items in the scale. In contrast, Asai's scale is specifically aimed at female Japanese university students, and it is used to measure the participants' level of Ibasho as the sum of the four subscales. We especially focused on the "sense of role," and developed a new scale to measure role-fulness based on the previous studies (Norisada, 2008; Asai, 2013) and added a new perspective for the "social" and "internal" aspects. The purpose of the study was to develop a psychological scale that measures role-fulness for these two aspects.


The participants in this study were 1029 Japanese high school students (484 men and 545 women). After the respondents who had missing data or errors were removed, 960 respondents were analyzed in total. The survey was conducted in a Japanese public high school.

Ethics Statement

Ethical approval was granted by the author's institutional ethics committee (Kinjo Gakuin University). We obtained the principal's permission for the survey. Then, the class teachers explained the survey to students. It is stated that participation was voluntary and anonymous. It is also told that the participation didn't affect the academic assessment or grade and that participants had the right to withdraw from the study.

Item selection

Based on the previous studies, we hypothesized two factors for rolefulness: "social rolefulness" and "internal rolefulness." The first author listed five items for each factor with reference to the previous studies (Norisada, 2008; Asai, 2013). After that, another author confirmed the theoretical validity of the items, and the details of expression were revised. As a result, the first version of the Rolefulness Scale was developed. The scale includes a total of 10 items and is rated on a five-point scale from 1 (disagree) to 5 (agree).

Data analysis

First, the factor structure of the Rolefulness Scale was investigated using the exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Then, the validity of the structure was examined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and the reliability of the Scale was examined by using Cronbach's alpha (a). The criterion-related validity of the Rolefulness Scale is confirmed by examining its correlation with other psychological scales. We used communication skills, social skills, self-esteem, and identity for comparison. A lack of both the communication factor ([alpha] = .85) and problem solving skill factor ([alpha] = .85) were used as the criteria of the communication skills and social skills. Both factors were included in the school maladaptive process scale (Suzuki & Morita, 2015). Regarding self-esteem, four items concerning self-esteem ([alpha] = .87) were selected from KINDLE (Ravens-Sieberer & Bullinger, 1998a, 1998b). The psychosocial identity factor ([alpha] = .83) of the Multidimensional Ego Identity Scale (Tani, 2001) was used as the criteria of identity.


The result of EFA suggested that the two-factor structure is adequate. One is "social rolefulness" and another is "internal rolefulness." Factor loading is between 0.699 and 0.851 in social rolefulness and between 0.432 and 0.885 in internal rolefulness. Table 1 shows the factor loadings of the Rolefulness Scale. The item with the lowest loading in each factor is removed for the next step. The items "I carry out a social role" in social rolefulness and "I have a role that is only mine" in internal rolefulness were removed. In addition, the item "My role brings out my individuality" was also removed because it was loaded by both factors.

Based on the result of the EFA, the factor structure of the Rolefulness Scale was confirmed using the CFA. In this model, social rolefulness includes four items, and internal rolefulness includes three items as shown in Figure 1. Fit indexes of the model are found to be acceptable (CFI = 0.994, RMSEA = 0.045, GFI = 0.989, AGFI = 0.975), and all paths for each item are significant (p < 0.01). The Cronbach's a of the sub-scales were 0.88 in social rolefulness and 0.90 in internal rolefulness.

Regarding the criterion-related validity, there are adequate positive correlations with self-esteem (social: r = 0.413, internal: r = 0.398), and psychosocial identity (social: r = 0.399, internal: r = 0.383). Lack of communication skills (social: r = 0.318, internal: r = 0.243) and problem solving skills (social: r = 0.437, internal: r = 0.345) negatively correlated more with social rolefulness than with internal rolefulness. Table 2 shows the correlation among the Rolefulness Scale and other scales.

Study 2

The aim for this study was to reconfirm the validity and reliability of the Rolefulness Scale. We conducted the survey using different samples from Study 1 and reconfirmed the factor structure using the CFA again. Then, the validity of the Scale was confirmed using item-total correlation and good-poor analysis.

Participants and Procedure

The participants in this study were 816 Japanese high school students (362 men and 454 women). Participants answered questions from the Rolefulness Scale developed in Study 1. After the respondents who were missing data or had errors were removed, a total of 798 respondents were analyzed. The survey was conducted in a Japanese private high school different from Study 1.

Ethics Statement

Same as study 1, ethical approval was granted by the author's institutional ethics committee (Kinjo Gakuin University). We obtained the principal's permission for the survey. Then, the class teachers explained the survey to students. It is stated that participation was voluntary and anonymous. It is also told that the participation didn't affect the academic assessment or grade and that participants had the right to withdraw from the study.

Data analysis

To confirm the reliability of the factor structure in the Rolefulness Scale, Cronbach's a of each subscale was calculated. For both social rolefulness ([alpha] = .87) and internal rolefulness ([alpha] = .88), the score was sufficient. Then, the factor structure was reconfirmed using the CFA again. In addition, the validity of the scale was confirmed using item-total correlation and good-poor analysis. The former is the method that examines the correlation between each item and totals the subscale score. In the latter method, participants were divided into two groups according to the subscale score. Based on the mean score of the subscales, the participants with a score higher than the mean were the high group and those with less than the mean were the low group. The score of each item in each group was compared with that of its counterpart in the other group.


The result of the CFA showed the following fitness: (CFI = 0.992, RMSEA = 0.055, GFI = 0.985, AGF1 = 0.966). However, there was no covariance among the errors in the model of Study 1, and we drew a covariance path between e5 and e6 following the modification indexes.

The result of the item-total correlation analysis showed that the correlations were between 0.82 and 0.88 in social rolefulness and between 0.88 and 0.91 in internal role-fulness. The good-poor analysis showed that there were significant differences between the 2 groups in all items for social and internal rolefulness. Table 3 shows the results of the item-total correlation and good-poor analysis.


Through the analysis in Study 1, two main factors "social" and "internal" rolefulness were discovered along with our hypothesis. Therefore, the fit indexes of the CFA showed sufficient scores, and the validity of this factor structure was confirmed. The model also showed that social and internal rolefulness correlate positively with each other.

Social rolefulness consists of items such as "My role is necessary for other people" or "1 am useful in society." As these items show, social rolefulness is role satisfaction that is concerned with relationships with others or the society in which we belong. In contrast, internal rolefulness includes items of "1 realize my individuality by my role" or "I gain confidence because of my role." Internal rolefulness emphasizes our identity, satisfaction, and confidence. In addition, it does not come from a social context or relationship with others, but it has an aspect of authentic concern in relation to ourselves.

We confirmed the criteria-related validity of the Rolefulness Scale using other psychological scales such as the lack of communication skill and social skill, self-esteem, and identity. The results showed that both social and internal rolefulness have positive correlation with self-esteem and identity. Howell et al. (1987) examined the relationship among self-esteem, role stress, and job satisfaction. They showed that self-esteem moderated the relationship between role stress and job satisfaction. Moksnes & Espnes (2013) found that self-esteem had a positive role in association with adolescents' life satisfaction. As these studies show, self-esteem is strongly associated with shaping our role satisfaction. Moen et al. (2000) investigated the social role identities among older adults. As they mentioned, our roles in daily lives are deeply related to forming our identities. Therefore, it is noted that the positive correlations among rolefulness, self-esteem, and identity is validated in our study.

To examine the validity of the multidisciplinary scale, the CFA is used to investigate the data of the other school in Study 2. The results showed sufficient fit indexes, and the validity and stability of the factor structure were confirmed. The scores of item-total correlations also showed that every item significantly correlates with the factor that it belongs with. In addition, the scores for every item were significantly higher in "good" groups versus the "poor" groups in the good-poor analysis. These findings prove that the selection of items was appropriate.

In conclusion, the Rolefulness Scale developed in this study could be a useful measure to examine our general sense of role satisfaction, especially based on the two dimensions of social and internal aspects. In future studies, new findings are expected to compare the Rolefulness Scale and other psychological factors. However, this study also includes limitations in that the results are based on the data from a specific country and of a specific generation. Data collection from several countries and generations is necessary for future cross-cultural studies.


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Kinjo Gakuin University



University of Human Environments

Caption: Figure 1. Factor Structure of Rolefulness Scale
Table 1. Factor Loadings of Rolefulness

                                          F1        F2

FI: Social Rolefulness

I am useful in society.                  0.851    -0.087

I can apply my strong point for          0.834     0.005

My role is necessary for other            0.7%     0.062

I have a role in the group I belong      0.719     0.077

I carry out a social role.               0.699    -0.065
Factor 2 Internal Rolefulness

I realize my individuality by my        -0.003     0.885

I am satisfied with my role.            -0.045     0.879

I gain confidence because of my          0.018     0.859

My role brings out my individu-          0.310     0.598

I have a role that is only mine.         0.411     0.432

Table 2. Correlation among Rolefulness Scale and Other Scales

              lack of        lack of        self     identity
           communication   social skill    esteem

Social       -0.318 **      -0.437 **     0.413 **   0.399 **
Internal     -0.243 **      -0.345 **     0.398 **   0.383 **

** p <.01

Table 3. The Results of Item-Total
Correlation and Good-Poor Analysis

                            i-t      good   poor   t-value

F1: Social Rolefulness
1 am useful in            0.823 **   3.08   1.77   30.55 **

I can apply my
strong point              0.874 **   3.33   2.2    21.71 **
for society.

My role is
necessary for             0.883 **   3.29   2.18   22.73 **
other people.

I have a role
in the group I            0.832 **   3.61   2.4    21.61 **
belong to.

Factor 2 Internal Rolefulness

I realize my
individuality             0.910* *   3.87   2.51   25.03 **
by my role.

I am satisfied            0.904 **   4.17   2.6    30.42 **
with my role.

I gain confi-
dence because             0.876 **   3.68   2.38   23.02 **
of my role.

** p< .01
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Author:Kato, Daiki; Suzuki, Mikie
Article Type:Report
Date:Mar 22, 2018

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