Quality of Life Research

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 241–251 | Cite as

Psychometric properties of a modified version of the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale-Parent Report (WFIRS-P) in a clinical sample of children with aggressive behavior

  • Teresa KernderEmail author
  • Manfred Doepfner
  • Christina Dose
  • Anja Goertz-Dorten



To evaluate the psychometric properties of a German modification of the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale—Parent Report for children with aggressive and oppositional behavior problems (WFIRS-P for ODD/CD).


Data were collected from a clinical sample of children (6–12 years; 96% boys) with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) (N = 219). The WFIRS-P conceptual framework was evaluated using confirmatory factor analyses (CFA). Reliability was estimated using internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) and omega statistics. Validity was assessed through correlations between WFIRS-P for ODD/CD domain scores and parent-rated scales on symptoms of ODD, CD, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a broad range of other behavioral and emotional problems, and scales on health-related quality of life and family burden.


CFA of the WFIRS-P for ODD/CD revealed that a bifactor model, with a general factor accounting for common variance (ωH = 0.23–0.48) and independent specific group factors accounting for additional variance in item scores (ωS = 0.37–0.60), best fits the data. Thus, CFA confirmed the theoretical assumption of a general construct of impairment (total scale) and additional specific impairments (subscales, e.g., family, social activities). Cronbach’s alpha coefficient exceeded 0.70 for all subscales. Omega statistics showed that both the general construct and specific factors accounted for item variance. As expected, correlations with symptoms scales for ODD/CD and ADHD were low to moderate.


The use of the parent-rated WFIRS for ODD/CD in identifying ODD- and CD-related impairment in children is psychometrically supported. The scale can be employed to assess functional impairment in children with aggressive behavior problems.


Oppositional defiant disorder Children Functional impairment Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale Psychometric properties 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Written informed consent was obtained from the parents.


  1. 1.
    American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Association Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Canino, G., Costello, E. J., & Angold, A. (1999). Assessing functional impairment and social adaptation for child mental health services research: A review of measures. Mental Health Services Research, 1, 93–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Palermo, T. M., Long, A. C., Lewandowski, A. S., Drotar, D., Quittner, A. L., & Walker, L. S. (2008). Evidence-based assessment of health-related quality of life and functional impairment in pediatric psychology. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33, 983–996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Greene, R. W., Biederman, J., Zerwas, S., Monuteaux, M. C., Goring, J. C., & Faraone, S. V. (2002). Psychiatric comorbidity, family dysfunction, and social impairment in referred youth with oppositional defiant disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 1214–1224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Munkvold, L. H., Lundervold, A. J., & Manger, T. (2011). Oppositional defiant disorder: Gender differences in co-occurring symptoms of mental health problems in a general population of children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 577–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Schachar, R., & Wachsmuth, R. (1990). Hyperactivity and parental psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 31, 381–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Van Lier, P. A., & Koot, H. M. (2010). Developmental cascades of peer relations and symptoms of externalizing and internalizing problems from kindergarten to fourth-grade elementary school. Development and Psychopathology, 22, 569–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gordon, M., Antshel, K., Faraone, S., Barkley, R., Lewandowski, L., Hudziak, J. J., … Cunningham, C. (2006). Symptoms versus impairment: The case for respecting DSM-IV’s Criterion D. Journal of Attention Disorders, 9, 465–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kutash, K., Lynn, N., & Burns, B. (2008). Child and adolescent measures of functional status. In A. Rush, M. First, D. Blacker (Eds.), Handbook of psychiatric measures (pp. 343–371). Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rapee, R. M., Boegels, S. M., van der Sluis, C. M., Craske, M. G., & Ollendick, T. (2012). Annual research review: Conceptualizing functional impairment in children and adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 454–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pickles, A., Rowe, R., Simonoff, E., Foley, D., Rutter, M., & Silberg, J. (2001). Child psychiatric symptoms and psychosocial impairment: Relationship and prognostic significance. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 179, 230–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Haack, L. M., & Gerdes, A. C. (2011). Functional impairment in Latino children with ADHD: Implications for culturally appropriate conceptualization and measurement. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14, 318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Winters, N. C., Collett, B. R., & Myers, K. M. (2005). Ten-year review of rating scales, VII: Scales assessing functional impairment. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 309–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Burke, J. D., Pardini, D. A., & Loeber, R. (2008). Reciprocal relationships between parenting behavior and disruptive psycho-pathology from childhood through adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 679–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sasser, T., Schoenfelder, E. N., & Stein, M. A. (2017). Targeting functional impairments in the treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD. CNS Drugs, 31, 97–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Canadian Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Resource Alliance (CADDRA) (2011). Canadian ADHD Practice Guidelines (CAP-Guidelines). Retrieved 5 Dec 2017, from
  17. 17.
    Dose, C., Hautmann, C., & Doepfner, M. (2016). Functional impairment in children with externalizing behavior problems: Psychometric properties of the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale—parent report in a German clinical sample. Journal of Attention Disorders. (Advance online publication).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Goertz-Dorten, A., Benesch, C., Hautmann, C., Berk-Pawlitzek, E., Faber, M., Lindenschmidt, T. … Doepfner, M. (2017). Efficacy of an individualized social competence training for children with oppositional defiant disorders/conduct disorders. Psychotherapy Research, 27, 326–337. Scholar
  19. 19.
    Goertz-Dorten, A., Benesch, C., Berk-Pawlitzek, E., Faber, M., Hautmann, C., Hellmich, M., … Doepfner, M. (2017). Efficacy of an individualized social competence training for children with oppositional defiant disorders/conduct disorders—A randomized controlled trial with an active control group. Psychotherapy Research, 27(3), 326–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Katzmann, J., Goertz-Dorten, A., Hautmann, C., & Doepfner, M. (2018) Social skills training and play group intervention for children with oppositional defiant disorders/conduct disorder: Mediating mechanisms in a head-to-head comparison. Psychotherapy Research, Scholar
  21. 21.
    Goertz-Dorten, A., Katzmann, J., Groth, M., Detering, K., Hellmann, A., Lutz, L., … Doepfner, M. Efficacy of an individualized computer-based social competence training for children with Oppositional Defiant Disorders/Conduct Disorders. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Card, N. A., Stucky, B. D., Sawalani, G. M., & Little, T. D. (2008). Direct and indirect aggression during childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic review of gender differences, intercorrelations, and relations to maladjustment. Child Development, 79, 1185–1229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    World Health Organization. (1993). The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders. Diagnostic criteria for research. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Doepfner, M., Goertz-Dorten, A., & Lehmkuhl, G. (2008). Diagnostik-System für psychische Stoerungen nach ICD-10 und DMS-IV für Kinder und Jugendliche—II. [Diagnostic system for mental disorders in childhood and adolescence—II]. Berne: Huber.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gajria, K., Kosinski, M., Sikirica, V., Huss, M., Livote, E., Reilly, K., … Erder, M. H. (2015). Psychometric validation of the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale-Parent Report Form in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 13, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Qian, Y., Du, Q.-X., Qu, S., & Wang, Y. F. (2011). Reliability and validity of the Chinese version of Weiss Functional Impairment Scale-Parent Form for school age children. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 25, 767–771.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tarakçıoğlu, M. C., Memik, N., Olgun, N. N., Aydemir, O. E., & Weiss, M. D. (2015). Turkish validity and reliability study of the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale-Parent Report. ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders, 7, 129–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Doepfner, M., Plueck, J., & Kinnen, C., für die Arbeitsgruppe Deutsche Child Behavior Checklist (2014). CBCL Handbuch-Schulalter. Manual zum Elternfragebogen über das Verhalten von Kindern und Jugendlichen, (CBCL 4-18), zum Lehrerfragebogen über das Verhalten von Kindern und Jugendlichen (TRF) und zum Fragebogen für Jugendliche (YSR). [Manual of the child behavior checklist (CBCL), the youth self-report and teacher’s report form]. Goettingen: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ravens-Sieberer, U., & Bullinger, M. (1998). Assessing health-related quality of life in chronically ill children with the German KINDL: First psychometric and content analytical results. Quality of Life Research, 7, 399–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ravens-Sieberer, U., & Bullinger, M. (1998). News from the KINDL-Questionnaire—A new version for adolescents. Quality of Life Research, 7, 653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Bullinger, M., Bruett, A. L., Erhart, M., Ravens-Sieberer, U., & BELLA Study Group (2008). Psychometric properties of the KINDL-R questionnaire: Results of the BELLA study. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 17, 125–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ravens-Sieberer, U., Morfeld, M., Stein, R., Reissmann, C., Bullinger, M., & Thyen, U. (2001). Der Familien-Belastungs-Fragebogen (FaBel-Fragebogen)—Testung und Validierung der deutschen Version der Impact on Family Scale bei Familien mit behinderten Kindern. [German Validation of the Impact on Family Scale for children with disabilities]. Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie, 51, 384–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Stein, R., & Jessop, D. (2003). The Impact on Family Scale revisited: Further psychometric data. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 24, 9–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2015). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Brown, T. (2006). Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Chen, F. F., Jing, Y., Hayes, A., & Lee, J. M. (2013). Two concepts or two approaches? A bifactor analysis of psychological and subjective well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 1033–1068.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Schermelleh-Engel, K., Moosbrugger, H., & Mueller, H. (2003). Evaluating the fit of structural equation models: Tests of significance and descriptive goodness-of-fit measures. Methods of Psychological Research Online, 8, 23–74.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Brunner, M., Nagy, G., & Wilhelm, O. (2012). A tutorial on hierarchically structured constructs. Journal of Personality, 80, 796–846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Yung, Y. F., Thissen, D., & McLeod, L. D. (1999). On the relationship between the higher-order factor model and the hierarchical factor model. Psychometrika, 64, 113–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Chen, F. F., West, S. G., & Sousa, K. H. (2006). A comparison of bifactor and second-order models of quality of life. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 41, 189–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Varni, J. W., & Burwinkle, T. M. (2006). The PedsQL as a patient-reported outcome in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A population-based study. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 4, 26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Kernder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manfred Doepfner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christina Dose
    • 2
  • Anja Goertz-Dorten
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Child and Adolescent Cognitive Behavior Therapy (AKiP)University Hospital CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and PsychotherapyMedical Faculty of the University of CologneCologneGermany

Personalised recommendations