Development and Validation of the Gatekeeper Behavior Scale

Crisis. 2016 Jul;37(4):271-280. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000382. Epub 2016 Jun 1.


Background: Community-based gatekeeper trainings are effective tools in increasing gatekeeper skills but few validated measures assess impact.

Aims: This study aimed at determining the validity of an 11-item Gatekeeper Behavior Scale (GBS) to assess gatekeeper skills that predict behavior.

Method: To validate the scale, 8,931 users were administered GBS surveys at pretraining, posttraining, and follow-up periods. The training was one of five from the suite of online At-Risk mental health learning simulations for university faculty/staff or students or high/middle school educators.

Results: A confirmatory factor analysis revealed the three-factor model based on the subscales of preparedness, likelihood, and self-efficacy fit the data best. Factor loadings showed all items correlated highly with theoretical constructs (r ≥ .84, p < .001). The GBS had high internal consistency (α = 0.93). Criterion-related validity for likelihood to discuss concerns at posttraining was significantly related to approaching students believed to be in psychological distress (r = .219, p < .001). Likelihood to refer significantly correlated with the number of students referred (r = .235, p < .001). Convergent validity was established via a correlation between self-efficacy in motivating someone to seek help and general self-efficacy (r = .519, p < .001).

Conclusion: The GBS appears to be a valid tool in measuring the impact of online gatekeeper training simulations and holds promise for assessing other delivery methods.

Keywords: assessment; confirmatory factor analysis; gatekeeper; suicide prevention; validity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Education
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Gatekeeping* / standards
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Efficacy
  • Suicide / prevention & control*