Inconsistency exists in the empirical literature with respect to the underlying factor structure of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES; Rosenberg, 1989). In research contexts the RSES is considered a unidimensional measure of self-esteem. Empirical findings have undermined this conceptualisation with factor analytic findings favouring a variety of one-factor solutions (with correlated measurement errors) or multidimensional representations. The current study applied a bifactor modelling approach to provide a theoretical and methodologically satisfying resolution to the current inconsistency. Three alternative factor models of the RSES were tested among a large sample of the adult population (N= 6082). Results indicated that a bifactor model was the best fit of the data. This model was demonstrated to be factorially invariant among males and females. The reliability of the scale was established using composite reliability. Results are discussed in terms of resolving the debate about the appropriate factor structure of the RSES. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.