Examining the Psychometric Properties of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-Brief Form in Justice-Involved Samples

Sherecce Fields, John F. Edens, Shannon Toney Smith, Allison Rulseh, M. Brent Donnellan, Mark A. Ruiz, Barbara E. McDermott, Kevin S. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Impulsivity is an important component of many forms of psychopathology. Though widely used as an index of this construct, the 30-item Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11) has demonstrated questionable psychometric properties in several research reports. An 8-item shortened version has recently been proposed, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-Brief (BIS-Brief) form, which was designed to overcome some of the limitations of the longer scale. In this report, we examine the internal structure and theoretically relevant external correlates of this new short form in large archival samples of individuals involved in the criminal justice system (prison inmates, substance abusers in mandatory treatment, and forensic inpatients). Confirmatory factor analysis of the BIS-Brief indicates adequate fit following a relatively minor modification. Correlations between the BIS-Brief and an array of criterion measures-other self-report scales, interview-based measures, and behavioral outcomes-are consistent with predictions and show relatively little or no decrement in predictive validity when compared with the 30-item BIS-11. Our results suggest that the BIS-Brief is a promising brief measure of impulsivity that evinces good psychometric properties across a range of offender samples. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychological Assessment
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 20 2015


  • Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11
  • Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-Brief
  • Criminal offenders
  • Cross-validation
  • Impulsivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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