In Western countries the need to assess the adaptive behaviour of a wide range of individuals within the framework of research and policy-making has increased in recent years. To meet this need a screener version of the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales (VABS) was developed in the Netherlands. This screener is a questionnaire to be filled out by primary care-givers. Using a limited number of items the instrument covers the four domains of adaptive behaviour portrayed in the original Expanded Version of the VABS.
In this article the psychometric characteristics of this screener are determined in a non-clinical population of children from 0 to 12 years using a sample of 984 children.
Available data support the reliability and validity of the screener. Internal consistency of the domains and test–retest reliability are high: 0.90 or more. High intra-class correlations between scores of mothers and fathers show that inter-rater agreement is also satisfactory. Furthermore the domain scores contribute evenly to the composite score. The associations with chronological age/calendar age are strong. Correlations range between 0.80 and 0.95, implying that an increase in age linearly is related to an increase in adaptive behaviour. Newly born children obtain virtually no scores, and increase of scores levels off at different ages near the end of the intended age range. The results indicate that the screener is a promising research instrument to assess the adaptive behaviour of children by means of a short questionnaire filled out by their primary care-givers. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.