Open Access Research article

Validation and development of a shorter version of the resilience scale RS-11: results from the population-based KORA–age study

Alexander von Eisenhart Rothe1, Markus Zenger2, Maria Elena Lacruz3, Rebecca Emeny1, Jens Baumert1, Sibylle Haefner1 and Karl-Heinz Ladwig1*

Author Affiliations

1 Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Epidemiology II, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, Neuherberg 85764, Germany

2 Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University of Leipzig, Philipp-Rosenthal-Str. 55, Leipzig 04103, Germany

3 Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany

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BMC Psychology 2013, 1:25  doi:10.1186/2050-7283-1-25

Published: 22 November 2013



The aim of this study was to assess reliability and validity of the Resilience Scale 11 (RS-11) and develop a shorter scale in a population-based study.


The RS-11 scale was administered to 3942 participants (aged 64 – 94 years) of the KORA-Age study. To test reliability, factor analyses were carried out and internal consistency (Cronbach’s α) was measured. Construct validity was measured by correlating scores with psychological constructs. The criterion for a shorter scale was a minimum internal consistency of .80. Shorter models were compared using confirmatory factor analysis. Sensitivity and specificity of RS-5 to RS-11 was analyzed.


Factor analysis of the RS-11 gave a 1-factor solution. Internal consistency was α = .86. A shorter version of the scale was developed with 5 items, which also gave a 1-factor solution and showed good validity. Internal consistency of this shorter scale: Resilience Scale 5 (RS-5) was α = .80. Sensitivity and specificity of RS-5 compared with RS-11 were .79 and .91 respectively. Both scales correlated significantly in expected directions with related constructs.


The RS-11 and the RS-5 are reliable, consistent and valid instruments to measure the ability of elderly individuals to successfully cope with change and misfortune.

Resilience; Psychometrics; Mental health; Aging