Protective Behavioral Strategies Scale-20: Psychometric properties of a French and German version among young males in Switzerland

Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2019 Sep;28(3):e1777. doi: 10.1002/mpr.1777. Epub 2019 Mar 7.


Objective: The Protective Behavioral Strategies Scale (PBSS-20) is one of the most commonly used measures of engagement in protective behavioral strategies (PBS). This research aimed to examine the psychometric properties of a French and German version of the PBSS-20 in a large sample of young males in Switzerland.

Method: The sample included 5,017 young males (mean age = 25.44) participating in the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors in Switzerland. Measures of PBS use, total drinks per week, and alcohol-related consequences were used from a second follow-up assessment.

Results: Confirmatory factor analysis testing different models previously documented in the literature provided initial support for a four-factor model. Fit statistics indicated that this model adequately reflects the structure of data. Further findings also provided support for adequate internal consistency and for convergent validity of this four-factor model, whereas metric-but not scalar-measurement invariance across linguistic regions was demonstrated.

Conclusion: Although further research testing measurement invariance across linguistic regions and gender is warranted, results of the current study suggest that the French and German PBSS-20 is reliable and that it may represent a promising research and clinical tool that can be used in both French- and German-speaking countries.

Keywords: French; German; alcohol; protective behavioral strategies scale; young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychometrics / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Switzerland
  • Young Adult