The Child Adolescent Bullying Scale (CABS): Psychometric evaluation of a new measure.

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Publication Date



Emergency Medicine

Journal Title

Research in Nursing and Health

MeSH Headings

Bullying Trends; Psychometrics; Human; Scales; Male; Female; Adolescence; Descriptive Statistics; Data Analysis Software; Internal Consistency; Coefficient Alpha; Massachusetts; Maine; Child; Pearson's Correlation Coefficient; Factor Analysis; Construct Validity; ROC Curve; New England; Funding Source; Validation Studies; Adolescent: 13-18 years; Child: 6-12 years; Male; Female


Abstract: While youth bullying is a significant public health problem, healthcare providers have been limited in their ability to identify bullied youths due to the lack of a reliable, and valid instrument appropriate for use in clinical settings. We conducted a multisite study to evaluate the psychometric properties of a new 22‐item instrument for assessing youths’ experiences of being bullied, the Child Adolescent Bullying Scale (CABS). The 20 items summed to produce the measure's score were evaluated here. Diagnostic performance was assessed through evaluation of sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and area under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve. A sample of 352 youths from diverse racial, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds (188 female, 159 male, 5 transgender, sample mean age 13.5 years) were recruited from two clinical sites. Participants completed the CABS and existing youth bullying measures. Analyses grounded in classical test theory, including assessments of reliability and validity, item analyses, and principal components analysis, were conducted. The diagnostic performance and test characteristics of the CABS were also evaluated. The CABS is comprised of one component, accounting for 67% of observed variance. Analyses established evidence of internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's α = 0.97), construct and convergent validity. Sensitivity was 84%, specificity was 65%, and the AUROC curve was 0.74 (95% CI: 0.69–0.80). Findings suggest that the CABS holds promise as a reliable, valid tool for healthcare provider use in screening for bullying exposure in the clinical setting.

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