Neurological Sciences

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1047–1058 | Cite as

Validation of the German version of the short form of the dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep scale (DBAS-16)

  • Christin LangEmail author
  • Serge Brand
  • Edith Holsboer-Trachsler
  • Uwe Pühse
  • Flora Colledge
  • Markus Gerber
Original Article


Research shows that dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions play an important role in the development, maintenance and exacerbation of insomnia. This study examines the factorial validity, psychometric properties and both concurrent and predictive validity of the German version of the 16-item DBAS (dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep) scale. Data was collected in 864 vocational students from the German-speaking part of Switzerland (43% females, M age = 17.9 years). Data collection took place twice within a 10-month interval. The students completed a German translation of the DBAS-16, the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and provided information about their psychological functioning. Descriptive statistics, factorial validity, internal consistency, gender differences, concurrent, and predictive validity were examined. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the 4-factor structure of the DBAS-16. All factors (consequences, worry/helplessness, expectations, medication) were positively correlated and had acceptable psychometric properties. Females reported higher scores across all DBAS measures. Weak-to-moderate correlations were found between dysfunctional sleep-related beliefs, insomnia and poor sleep quality. Dysfunctional sleep-related beliefs were also associated with decreased psychological functioning, and consistently predicted insomnia and poor psychological functioning at follow-up, even after controlling for socio-demographic background and baseline levels. The present study provides support for the validity and psychometric properties of the German version of the DBAS-16. Most importantly, it corroborates the relevance of cognitive-emotional factors in the onset and maintenance of insomnia and psychological symptoms among young people.


Beliefs Confirmatory factor analysis Insomnia Psychological functioning Sleep-related cognitions Validity 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The last author has received research grants from the Swiss Federal Sport Commission under Grant 10-05. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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.

Supplementary material

10072_2017_2921_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (31 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 30 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Sport Science Section, Department of Sport, Exercise and Health (DSBG)University of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Center for Affective, Stress and Sleep Disorders (ZASS), Psychiatric Clinics (UPK)University of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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