To develop a Chinese version of the Matson Evaluation of Social Skills with Youngsters (C-MESSY scale), two bilingual Chinese achieved consensus in their translation of the Appropriate Social Skills subscale of the Matson Evaluation of Social Skills with Youngsters (C-APP-MESSY). One-hundred and ninety-one adolescents (142 males and 49 females) completed the C-APP-MESSY scale, the social subscale of the Coppersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (CSEI), Rosenberg's self-esteem scale and the revised Self-Consciousness Scale. Internal consistency (alpha coefficient) of the C-SRA scale was 0.88 and its split-half reliability was 0.83. The correlation between the C-APP-MESSY and social subscale of CSEI was 0.54 which indicated convergent validity. The convergent validity was further established by finding out that the correlations between the C-APP-MESSY scale and two traditional personality tests including the revised Self-Consciousness Scale, and Rosenberg's self-esteem scales were 0.34 and 0.46, respectively. The findings suggest that the C-APP-MESSY scale is a useful tool for research into problems involving social skills in the Chinese context. Copyright © 1997 Published by Elsevier Ltd.