Psychometric properties of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale in patients with gambling disorders, hypersexuality, and methamphetamine dependence

Addict Behav. 2014 Nov;39(11):1640-1645. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.11.008. Epub 2013 Nov 19.


Although the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS; Patton, Stanford, & Barratt, 1995) is a widely-used self-report measure of impulsivity, there have been numerous questions about the invariance of the factor structure across clinical populations (Haden & Shiva, 2008, 2009; Ireland & Archer, 2008). The goal of this article is to examine the factor structure of the BIS among a sample consisting of three populations exhibiting addictive behaviors and impulsivity: pathological gamblers, hypersexual patients, and individuals seeking treatment for methamphetamine dependence to determine if modification to the existing factors might improve the psychometric properties of the BIS. The current study found that the factor structure of the BIS does not replicate in this sample and instead produces a 12-item three-factor solution consisting of motor-impulsiveness (5 items), non-planning impulsiveness (3 items), and immediacy impulsiveness (4 items). The clinical utility of the BIS in this population is questionable. The authors suggest future studies to investigate comparisons with this modified version of the BIS and other impulsivity scales such as the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale in clinical populations when assessing disposition toward rash action.

Keywords: Addiction; Barratt Impulsiveness Scale; Gambling disorder; Hypersexual behavior; Impulsivity; Substance-abuse.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants*
  • Female
  • Gambling / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / physiology*
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / standards
  • Psychometrics
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Sexuality


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methamphetamine