Capturing callous unemotional (CU) traits and the behavioral inhibition/activation systems (BIS/BAS) in children: Development of three construct-oriented scales in the Personality Inventory for Children---Second Edition (PIC-2)

Erika M Baron, Pace University

Abstract

This study attempted to develop three rationally- and empirically-derived scales within the Personality Inventory for Children—Second Edition (PIC-2) capturing the constructs of Callout Unemotional (CU) Traits, the Behavioral Activation System (BAS), and the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS). In developing additional personality scales within the PIC-2 that demonstrate psychometric integrity, clinicians are offered unique information that can enhance diagnostic and treatment efforts with a vulnerable subset of conduct problem youth. The study consisted of three phases: (a) Study 1: Scale Design; (b) Study 2: Validation in LD/OP Mental Health Sample, and (c) Study 3: Validation in Four Winds Grouping II Sample. ^ To design and psychometrically analyze the scales, information on children, ages 5 to 16 years, was gathered from three locations, including a private school for youngsters with learning disabilities (The Craig School), a summer-based outpatient program for clinic-referred youth (Family Services of Westchester Respite Program), and an inpatient psychiatric facility (Four Winds Hospital). Findings indicated that the 36-item PIC-2 CU, 10-item PIC-2 BAS, and 9-item PIC-2 BIS scales each demonstrated strong internal consistency within both the LD/OP and psychiatric inpatient settings (PIC-2 CU LD/OP α = .95 and Inpatient α = .92; PIC-2 BAS LD/OP α = .80 and Inpatient α = .75; PIC-2 BIS LD/OP α = .83; Inpatient α = .69). Expected relationships amongst the three scales were found, with the PIC-2 CU scale demonstrating a strong correlation with the PIC-2 BAS (r = .71). Consistent with hypotheses, no significant relationship was found between the PIC-2 CU and PIC-2 BIS as well as the PIC-2 BAS and PIC-2 BIS scales. ^ An examination of each scale's validity in the LD/OP Mental Health Sample revealed significant correlations in the generally expected directions with gold-standard criterion measures, including the Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD) and the Sensitivity to Punishment and Reward Scales for Children (SPRSC). Convergent and discriminant validity were also established using parent-report of psychopathology on the Personality Inventory for Children—Second Edition (PIC-2) adjustment and subscales as well as the Devereux Scales of Mental Disorders (DSMD). Further, an analysis of each scale's relationship to DSMD items of increasing behavioral severity indicated that early to intermediate level conduct problem behavior was a function of elevations on both the PIC-2 CU and PIC-2 BAS, while advanced level behavior was more substantially a function of the former construct. Lastly, the PIC-2 CU, PIC-2 BAS, and PIC-2 BIS scales were independently related to therapist-report of psychopathology upon admission and discharge in accordance with intuitive and theoretical expectations. Limitations and directions for future research were discussed, as was the relevance of the current findings for the field of School-Clinical Child Psychology.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Personality

Recommended Citation

Erika M Baron, "Capturing callous unemotional (CU) traits and the behavioral inhibition/activation systems (BIS/BAS) in children: Development of three construct-oriented scales in the Personality Inventory for Children---Second Edition (PIC-2)" (January 1, 2010). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3428924.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3428924

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