Capturing Age-group Differences and Developmental Change with the BASC Parent Rating Scales

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Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology

Estimation of age-group differences and intra-individual change across distinct developmental periods is often challenged by the use of age-appropriate (but non-parallel) measures. We present a short version of the Behavior Assessment System (Reynolds & Kamphaus, 1998), Parent Rating Scales for Children (PRS-C) and Adolescents (PRS-A), which uses only their common-items to derive estimates of the initial constructs optimized for developmental studies. Measurement invariance of a three-factor model (Externalizing, Internalizing, Adaptive Skills) was tested across age-groups (161 mothers using PRS-C; 200 mothers using PRS-A) and over time (115 mothers using PRS-C at baseline and PRS-A five years later) with the original versus short PRS. Results indicated that the short PRS holds a sufficient level of invariance for a robust estimation of age-group differences and intra-individual change, as compared to the original PRS, which held only weak invariance leading to flawed developmental inferences. Importance of test-content parallelism for developmental studies is discussed.

BASC, Parent rating scale, Measurement invariance, Scale parallelism, Developmental change
Copyright 2014 Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: Recommended citation: Barbot, B., S. Hein, S. S. Luthar, and E. L. Grigorenko. "Capturing Age-group Differences and Developmental Change with the BASC Parent Rating Scales." Journal of applied developmental psychology 35, no. 4 (2014): 294-303. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2014.04.003. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author's permission.