Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 457–462 | Cite as

Reflection-impulsivity in normal and behavior-disordered children

  • Ronald T. Brown
  • Lorene C. Quay


The primary index of reflection- impulsivity is Kagan's Matching Familiar Figures Test (MFF), which yields both a latency and an error score. To evaluate further the construct validity of these measures, both the latency and error scores of 9- and 15-year-old normal and “acting-out” behavior-disordered children were compared. Young behavior-disordered children were found to be more impulsive than the other groups on the MFF error measure. No differences occurred on the MFF latency measure. This result is consistent with previous findings with normal children in supporting the construct validity of the MFF error score and raising questions about the construct validity of the MFF latency score. Findings were inconsistent with Kagan's assertion that normal children become more reflective with age. The older behavior-disordered children were more reflective on the error measure than the younger behavior-disordered children and had equivalent error scores to both age groups of normals. This finding suggested a lag in the development of reflection in behavior-disordered children.


Error Measure Construct Validity Normal Child Latency Measure Error Score 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald T. Brown
    • 1
  • Lorene C. Quay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Early Childhood DevelopmentGeorgia State UniversityAtlanta

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