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The Conners Parent Rating Scale: Confirmatory factorial analysis on preliminary data in a sample of 5-10 years old Belgian French Speaking Children


Introduction The Conners Parent Rating Scale-48 items (CPRS) is one of the most used behavioral scales in clinical and research settings with children suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders, and particularly with children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This scale provides an interesting qualitative and quantitative picture of the emotional and behavioural children’s attitude by including five subscales assessing conduct problem, learning problem, anxiety, impulsive/hyperactive behaviour and psychosomatic feelings (e.g., Goyette, Conners, & Ulrich, 1978). Previous versions of this scale were developed to contribute to the identification of hyperkinetic children and evaluate treatment efficiency. To our knowledge, no study has verified the factor structure of the French version of the CPRS. In this context, the principal aims of this study were to verify the five-factor structure of the French version of the CPRS and therefore to provide preliminary culturally adapted normative data for Belgian French-speaking children aged from 5 to 10 years old. Method The CPRS for parents was distributed in several schools in the region of Liège (Belgium). A total of 157 parents of normally developing 5-10 years old children participated in this study (Mean age: 7.94 years, SD: 2.01). Exclusion criteria for participation were a history of traumatic brain injury or neurological, developmental, learning, or psychiatric disorders. Results We carried out a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) using LISREL 8.80 (Jöreskog & Sörbom, 2006) to examine the factor structure of the French version of the CPRS. We tested the five-factor structure found in Goyette, Conners, and Ulrich (1978) with the English version including the five following subscales: [i] Conduct problem, [ii] Learning problem, [iii] Psychosomatic, [iv] Impulsive-hyperactive, and [v] Anxiety. To evaluate the fit of this model, different goodness-of-fit indexes were employed: (1) the chi2 value, (2) the Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA; Browne & Cudeck, 1989), and (3) the Comparative Fit Index (CFI; Bentler, 1990). Generally, the fitness index is calculated from the value of the chi-square divided by the degrees of freedom. A value of chi2/df of less than 2 is considered to be an indication of an adequate fit. The RMSEA indicates a ‘good’ approximation if it is less than .05. A RMSEA between .05 and .08 reflects a ‘reasonable’ approximation, and a RMSEA greater than .08 indicates poor approximation. In line with Goyette, Conners, and Ulrich (1978), a five-factor model was constructed in which the items of the CPRS were hypothesized to reflect these factors. The chi-square of the model was not significant, chi2 (199) = 230.626, p > .05. The chi2/df ratio is 1.15, which indicates an adequate fit. For the other fit indices, we obtained a RMSEA of .07. The combination of these indices indicated an acceptable fit for the model tested. The standard item alpha for the whole-scale was .82. The reliability coefficient (Cronbach’s alpha) for each of the subscales ranged from .63 to .80 (Mean: .72). The coefficients confirmed the good internal reliability of the inventory. Discussion The principal aim of this study was to validate the five-factor structure of the French adaptation of the CPRS in Belgian French-speaking children. Interestingly, the CFA showed that, like the original version, the French adaptation of the CPRS presents good psychometric characteristics. More interestingly, the CFA confirmed that the 48-item scale of the French version of the CPRS specifically assessed the five different children’s behaviours described above. Furthermore, this study provides cultural-adapted normative data for Belgian French-speaking children. Future research will be necessary to examine to what extent this questionnaire can discriminate between children with ADHD and normally developing children.

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