Social defeat: Concept and measurement in a Hispanic population

Yanet Quijada, Loreto Villagrán



Introduction. Social defeat (SD) is defined as a feeling of having lost the fight leading to a loss of valuable status or of important personal goals, and has been associated to depression and suicidal behavior, among other disorders. Furthermore, it has been proposed as a mediating variable between social and clinical elements.

Objective. To adapt and validate a Spanish version of the Defeat Scale.

Method. A back translation into Spanish was carried out. SD, hopelessness, and social well-being were measured in 546 university students (Mean age = 20.93 years, SD = 2.98; 68.7% females).

Results. An exploratory factor analysis offered a two-dimension structure in the scale made up by the dimension defeat and triumph. A confirmatory factor analysis found good fit indicators for the two-dimension model (df = 89; χ2 = 188.96; CFI = .942; RMSEA = .061; IFI = .943). Both dimensions present good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha > .70). SD was associated to higher levels of hopelessness and lower levels of social well-being.

Discussion and conclusion. The Spanish version of the Defeat Scale presents good psychometric properties. Its use can help deepen the understanding of psychopathological phenomena and their link to social elements within the context of Spanish speaking countries.


Linguistic adaptation; psychometric; depression; hopelessness; social well-being

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