Psychometric Evaluation of the Posttrauma Risky Behaviors Questionnaire: Item Response Theory Analyses

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The Posttrauma Risky Behaviors Questionnaire (PRBQ) assesses extent of engagement in posttrauma reckless and self-destructive behaviors (RSDBs). Given PRBQ’s recent development with limited psychometric investigations, we used item response theory to examine (a) item analysis, (b) person fit, and (c) differential item functioning (DIF) across gender-based groups and two different samples. One sample included 464 participants reporting potentially traumatic experiences (Mechanical Turk [MTurk], recruited online), and the other sample included 171 trauma-exposed women reporting current intimate partner violence and substance use (recruited in-person). All PRBQ items contributed to the RSDB scale, and all PRBQ items and the PRBQ scale provided maximum information for high levels of the RSDB latent trait. Seven and 11 items were conceptualized as low information items in the MTurk and intimate partner violence samples, respectively. Eight MTurk participants’ responses did not fit the overall pattern of responses as expected. Seven items were flagged for DIF between the two samples, and eight items were flagged for DIF between men and women in the MTurk sample. However, all effect sizes were <8%. Conclusively, results suggest good psychometric properties for the PRBQ and support its use to compare RSDBs across different samples and gender-based groups.

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