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

Charles W. Mathias, Matthew S. Stanford, Yuanyuan Liang, Martin Goros, Nora E. Charles, Arielle H. Sheftall, Jillian Mullen, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Ashley Acheson, Rene L. Olvera, Donald M. Dougherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-856
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Impulsiveness
  • Inpatient
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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