The 21-item Barratt Impulsiveness Scale Revised (BIS-R-21): An alternative three-factor model

Máté Kapitány-Fövény, Róbert Urbán, Gábor Varga, Marc N. Potenza, Mark D. Griffiths, Anna Szekely, Borbála Paksi, Bernadette Kun, Judit Farkas, Gyöngyi Kökönyei, Z. Demetrovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and aims: Due to its important role in both healthy groups and those with physical, mental and behavioral disorders, impulsivity is a widely researched construct. Among various self-report questionnaires of impulsivity, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale is arguably the most frequently used measure. Despite its international use, inconsistencies in the suggested factor structure of its latest version, the BIS-11, have been observed repeatedly in different samples. The goal of the present study was therefore to test the factor structure of the BIS-11 in several samples. Methods: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on two representative samples of Hungarian adults (N = 2,457; N = 2,040) and a college sample (N = 765). Results: Analyses did not confirm the original model of the measure in any of the samples. Based on explorative factor analyses, an alternative three-factor model (cognitive impulsivity; behavioral impulsivity; and impatience/ restlessness) of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale is suggested. The pattern of the associations between the three factors and aggression, exercise, smoking, alcohol use, and psychological distress supports the construct validity of this new model. Discussion: The new measurement model of impulsivity was confirmed in two independent samples. However, it requires further cross-cultural validation to clarify the content of self-reported impulsivity in both clinical and nonclinical samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-246
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of behavioral addictions
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Alternative factor structure
  • Barratt Impulsiveness Scale
  • BIS-11
  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Impulsivity
  • Representative sample

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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