, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 445-467

Psychometric characteristics of a multidimensional measure to assess impairment: The Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale

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Abstract

The Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) is a multidimensional measure of degree of impairment in functioning. Interrater reliability data are presented for lay raters, graduate students, and frontline staff. Reliability was high for the total score and behaviorally-oriented scales. Construct, concurrent, and discriminant validity were assessed with the sample of children and adolescents evaluated at the Fort Bragg Demonstration Evaluation Project. Youth and their caregivers were evaluated via interview and selfcompleted instruments at four time points. Significant correlations were found between the CAFAS and other related constructs. Concurrent validity was demonstrated by logistic regression analyses examining the relationship between CAFAS ratings and problematic behaviors endorsed on measures completed by parents, teachers, or the youth. Youth with higher CAFAS total scores were much more likely to have poor social relationships, difficulties in school, and problems with the law. Discriminant validity was assessed with a repeated measures analysis of variance with intensity of care at intake and time as factors. Youth who were inpatients or in residential treatment centers at intake had higher CAFAS scores than those who were outpatients. These findings provide strong evidence for the reliability and validity of the CAFAS.