Instrument Development

Moral Emotions Questionnaires

To measure moral emotions, or also called social emotions, we developed a parent report for toddlers, and a self-report for adolescents. The adolescent version has been separately validated in youth who are deaf or hard-of-hearing

Parent-report for toddlers and preschoolers

  • Developed in Dutch, also available in Chinese, English, and Portuguese
  • parent report, age range 1-6 years old
  • 3 scales measuring shame, guilt and pride (17 items)
  • Concurrent validity: MEQ scales showed acceptable internal consistencies, associations between the three moral emotions and externalizing behaviors, internalizing behaviors, and social competence, conform previous research
  • Original version in Dutch developed by B.M.S. da Silva, L. Ketelaar, G. Veiga, Y. Tsou and C. Rieffe


Da Silva, B. M. S., Ketelaar, L., Veiga, G., Tsou, Y. T., & Rieffe, C. (2022). Moral emotions in early childhood: Validation of the Moral Emotions Questionnaire (MEQ) International Journal of Behavioral Development. doi: 10.1177/01650254221075031

Li, Z., Li, B., Tsou, Y.T., Oosterveld, P., & Rieffe,C. (2023). Moral emotions in early childhood: Validation of the Chinese Moral Emotions Questionnaire. Social Development, 32 (2) , 527-545. doi: 10.1111/sode.12645

Li, B., Tsou, Y. T., Stockmann, L.,Greaves-Lord, K., & Rieffe, C. (in press). See the self through others’ eyes: The development ofmoral emotions in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Development and Psychopathology. doi:10.1017/S0954579421000973

Adolescent self-report

  • Developed in Dutch (validated), also available in English and Malay (not yet validated)
  • self-report, age range 10 to 14 years old
  • Two scales measuring shame- and guilt-proneness (12 items)
  • Orginial version is in Dutch, developed by S. Novin and C. Rieffe


Broekhof, E., Kouwenberg, M., Oosterveld, P., Frijns, J. H. M., & Rieffe,C. (2020). Use of the Brief Shame and Guilt Questionnaire in deaf and hard of hearing children and adolescents. Assessment, 27, 194-205. doi: 10.1177/1073191117725169.

Novin, S. & Rieffe, C. (2015). Validation of the Brief Shame and Guilt Questionnaire for Children. Personality and Individual Differences, 85, 56-59.

Download questionnaire pdfs here:

Brief Shame and Guilt Questionnaire for Children [Dutch]

Brief Shame and Guilt Questionnaire for Children [English]