Development of the adolescent-parents form of the Behavior Exchange Inventory

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Bruce D. Forman - Committee Chair


The Behavior Exchange Inventory (BEI), a self-report measure designed to assess adult-adult interaction patterns, was adapted for use with adolescents and their parents. The items are rated on a 5-point Likert scale, and describe behaviors similar to the concept of "stroking" by way of "giving," "taking," "asking for," or "withholding" either positive or negative reinforcers. The 48 items yield eight scales which are defined in terms of how the adolescent views his or her own behavior in relation to either their mother and father.Using a test construction/test validation paradigm, the items of the intimate form of the BEI were reworded and reviewed for clarity and appropriateness. Subjects included 60 nonclinical adolescents, defined as students enrolled in a public school regular classroom, and 30 clinical teens, as defined by inpatient status in an adolescent psychiatric hospital. All subjects were administered both the mother and father forms of the BEI Adolescent-Parents form and the mother form of the Children's Report of Parental Behavior Inventory (CRPBI). Thirty nonclinical subjects were also readministered both BEI forms two days later.In an item analyses, nearly 90 percent of all items were at least moderately positively correlated with their scale, with 11 of 16 scales having all items meeting criteria. Internal consistency measures indicated that 7 of 8 scales on the mother form and all scales on the father form achieved at least moderate homogeneity. All scales of both forms achieved at least moderate test-retest reliability criteria. Evidence of at least moderate construct validity was indicated for 3 out of 4 "positive" and 1 of 4 "negative" BEI scales when compared to "positive" and "negative" factors of the CRPBI. The remaining scales achieved correlations in the expected direction but did not obtain significance. The Adolescent-Parents version of the BEI was able to discriminate between clinical and nonclinical groups, demonstrated by a multiple discriminate analysis, using BEI scales as predictor variables.


Psychology, Psychometrics

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