This research reports the findings of two studies conducted to measure and then investigate
differences between delinquent, nondelinquent, and at-risk youths' orientations towards
reputation enhancement. In the first study, concerning item selection and scale development,
the factor structure and content validity of a potential Reputation Enhancement Scale were
tested by examining the item responses of the scale completed by 230 high-school students.
In the second study, the scale was validated by comparing the item responses of 80
delinquent, 90 at-risk, and 90 nondelinquent adolescents with the responses of the original
students. The instrument was found to be reliable (alphas from .64 to .92), indicating that the
factors are dependable across different samples, and the coefficients of congruence were
sufficiently high to investigate meaningful group differences. Three second-order factors
(Conforming Reputation, Nonconforming Reputation, Self-presentation) were derived
from the 15 first-order factors. Although multivariate analyses revealed significant
differences between the reputational orientations of delinquent, at-risk, and nondelinquent
participants, the self-presentation second-order factor did not differentiate the three groups.