Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 577–588 | Cite as

The Behavior Problems Inventory: An Instrument for the Assessment of Self-Injury, Stereotyped Behavior, and Aggression/Destruction in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

  • Johannes Rojahn
  • Johnny L. Matson
  • Denise Lott
  • Anna J. Esbensen
  • Yemonja Smalls


The Behavior Problems Inventory (BPI-01) is a 52-item respondent-based behavior rating instrument for self-injurious, stereotypic, and aggressive/destructive behavior in mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. Items are rated on a frequency scale and a severity scale. The BPI-01 was administered by interviewing direct care staff of 432 randomly selected residents from a developmental center between the ages of 14 to 91 years. For 73% of those selected, at least one problem was endorsed on the BPI-01. A total of 43% showed self-injury, 54% stereotyped behavior, and 38% aggressive/destructive behavior. Confirmatory factor analysis and item-total correlations supported the three a priori factors. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) showed that of the variables age, sex, and level of mental retardation, only the latter had a significant effect on the BPI-01 total score, the SIB subscale score, and the Stereotyped Behavior subscale score. Aggression/destruction was not significantly related to any of the three variables. Individuals with a diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder had higher scores on all three subscales than those without, whereas residents with a diagnosis of stereotyped movement disorder had higher Stereotyped Behavior scale scores than those without. The BPI-01 was found to be a reliable (retest reliability, internal consistency, and between-interviewer-agreement) and valid (factor and criterion validity) behavior rating instrument for problem behaviors in mental retardation and developmental disabilities with a variety of potentially useful applications. Strengths and limitations of the instrument are discussed.

Self-injurious behavior aggression stereotyped behavior 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johannes Rojahn
    • 1
  • Johnny L. Matson
    • 2
  • Denise Lott
    • 2
  • Anna J. Esbensen
    • 1
  • Yemonja Smalls
    • 2
  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityColumbus
  2. 2.Louisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge

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