, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 696-711

Cross-Validation of the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale-2 Youth Version: An Exploration of Strength-Based Latent Traits

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High-quality measurement is a necessary requirement to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of programs that use strength-based principles and strategies. Using independent cross-validation samples, we report two studies that explored the construct validity of the BERS-2 Youth Report, a popular measure designed to assess youth strengths, whose conceptual structure has not yet been examined. In Study 1, an exploratory factor analysis found a four-factor solution with conceptual support, which included both internal assets associated with (a) the management of emotions and positive social interaction skills and (b) engagement in the important social contexts of family and school. In Study 2, confirmatory factor analyses found reasonable model fit for the BERS-2 five-factor structure and superior model fit for the more parsimonious four-factor solution found in Study 1. In future studies, parallel reporting of the four-factor model may provide additional insight to the nature and structure of the BERS-2 Youth Version’s clinical validity and utility when compared with the five-factor model, thus potentially contributing to a broader objective to develop a better understanding of important strength-based latent traits.