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Factor structure and psychometric properties of a French and German shortened version of the Behavioural Inhibition System/Behavioural Activation System scales.
International journal of methods in psychiatric research
The Behavioural Inhibition System/Behavioural Activation System scales (BIS/BAS scales) constitute one of the most prominent questionnaires to assess individual differences in sensitivity to punishment and reward. However, some studies questioned its validity, especially that of the French and German translations. The aim of the present study was to re-evaluate the psychometric characteristics of the BIS/BAS scales in a large sample of French- and German-speaking young Swiss men (N = 5872). Results showed that factor structures previously found in the literature did not meet the standards of fit. Nine items had to be removed to achieve adequate fit statistics in confirmatory factor analysis, yielding a shortened version with four factors: one BIS factor comprising five items and three BAS factors, namely Reward Reactivity, Drive and Fun Seeking, each comprising two items. Convergent validity and group invariance analyses suggest that the shortened BIS/BAS scales constitute a valid and reliable instrument. Researchers interested in assessing individual differences in BIS and BAS reactivity in French- and German-speaking individuals should avoid using the BIS/BAS scales as originally specified. The shortened version may be a sound alternative at least in samples of young adults. Its shorter format may be particularly suited for surveys with constraints on questionnaire length.
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