A test of the psychometric characteristics of the BIS-Brief among three groups of youth

Psychol Assess. 2018 Jul;30(7):847-856. doi: 10.1037/pas0000531. Epub 2018 Feb 12.


The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) is the most widely administered trait impulsiveness questionnaire. Recently a shorter, unidimensional version of the instrument was developed for adults (BIS-Brief). While psychometric characteristics of the BIS-Brief support its use among adults, it also may be more appropriate for youth samples than the complete BIS-11 because it less burdensome and omits items about activities not usually encountered by children and adolescents. This article describes a test of psychometric characteristics of the BIS-Brief among youth. To measure a sufficiently wide range of scores, analyses were conducted based on secondary data analysis of data sets pooled from 3 distinct youth cohorts aged 10-17: healthy controls (Control; n = 356); those who had a family history of substance use disorder (FH+; n = 302); and psychiatric inpatients (Patients; n = 322). Model fit for the BIS-Brief was good but varied somewhat depending on the respondent cohort. There was a strong correlation between test and re-test BIS-Brief both within a single day and at 6 months, and also a strong correlation between BIS-Brief and BIS-11 scores. Concurrent validity was supported by correlation with questionnaire measures, which tended to be more robustly associated with BIS-Brief than behavioral measures. Both BIS-Brief and BIS-11 forms were similarly associated with other convergent measures. In conclusion, the BIS-Brief is a shorter version of the BIS-11 that reduces participant burden and with psychometric properties that support its use among youth populations. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior*
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Puberty / psychology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*