The Structure, Measurement Invariance, and External Validity of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-Brief in a Sample of At-Risk Adolescents

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the factor structure and measurement invariance of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale–Brief version (BIS-Brief) in an archival sample of 315 adolescents (81% male; 63.5% Caucasian; Mage = 16.7 years) participating in a military-style residential program for at-risk youths. Additionally, correlations between BIS scores and external measures of impulsivity-related behaviors were examined. Results showed support for a previously described two-dimensional structure for the BIS-Brief, which was invariant across racial groups. Additionally, the BIS-Brief performed similarly to the total BIS-11 score in relation to external measures of impulsivity-related behaviors. However, the two dimensions exhibited some significant differences in their associations with other measures. This study supports the utility of the BIS-Brief as a brief measure of impulsivity and suggests that the dimensions of the BIS-Brief may be useful in distinguishing how different aspects of impulsivity relate to problem behaviors such as binge drinking and self-injury.

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