Psychometric Properties of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale: A Spanish-Language Version in a Community Sample of Puerto Rican Adults

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Abstract

Performance-based measures have shown some limitation in the assessment of executive functioning (EF) and rating scales have been proposed as an alternative. Our aim was to conduct a comprehensive psychometric evaluation of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS), as administered in 452 Latino community adults (65.5% female). The BDEFS was back-translated into Spanish. We performed exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to assess the structure of the translated BDEFS and to compare it with the original five-factor structure based on the English-language version. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed to test the original language structure of the instrument, and also a modified version with items that loaded equally in both versions. The Adult Self-Report Scale was used to screen for ADHD symptoms. We assessed invariance on the latent factor’s mean by age and gender, and to estimate associations with ADHD symptom dimensions. The five-factor structure of the BDEFS was partially supported by EFA/CFA, in which 78 out of 89 items loaded similar to the original English-language structure. Factor scores were significantly associated with ADHD symptom dimensions. Model-based contrasts revealed that inattention was primarily associated with disorganization, time-management and motivational aspects of EF; hyperactivity was predominantly related to self-restraint and self-regulation factors. The BDEFS seemingly assesses similar dimensions of the EF construct in English and in the present Spanish-language versions. Factor scores were differentially associated with ADHD subtypes. Replication and confirmation of the Spanish-language BDEFS in a larger sample is advised.

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