The Children's Behavior Questionnaire very short scale: psychometric properties and development of a one-item temperament scale

Psychol Rep. 2012 Feb;110(1):197-217. doi: 10.2466/08.10.21.PR0.110.1.197-217.


Little research has been conducted on the psychometrics of the very short scale (36 items) of the Children's Behavior Questionnaire, and no one-item temperament scale has been tested for use in applied work. In this study, 237 United States caregivers completed a survey to define their child's behavioral patterns (i.e., Surgency, Negative Affectivity Effortful Control) using both scales. Psychometrics of the 36-item Children's Behavior Questionnaire were examined using classical test theory, principal factor analysis, and item response modeling. Classical test theory analysis demonstrated adequate internal consistency and factor analysis confirmed a three-factor structure. Potential improvements to the measure were identified using item response modeling. A one-item (three response categories) temperament scale was validated against the three temperament factors of the 36-item scale. The temperament response categories correlated with the temperament factors of the 36-item scale, as expected. The one-item temperament scale may be applicable for clinical use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Temperament*
  • United States