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Logo of bmcmrmBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Medical Research Methodology
BMC Med Res Methodol. 2012; 12: 94.
Published online 2012 July 7. doi:  10.1186/1471-2288-12-94
PMCID: PMC3431231

Development and psychometric properties of the health-risk behavior inventory for Chinese adolescents



There is a growing body of research investigating adolescent risk behaviors in China, however, a comprehensive measure that evaluates the full spectrum of relevant risk behaviors is lacking. In order to address this important gap, the current study sought to develop and validate a comprehensive tool: the Health-Risk Behavior Inventory for Chinese Adolescents (HBICA).


Adolescents, ages 14–19 years (n = 6,633), were recruited from high schools across 10 cities in mainland China. In addition, a clinical sample, which included 326 adolescents meeting DSM-IV criteria for Conduct Disorder, was used to evaluate predictive validity of the HBICA. Psychometric properties including internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha), test-retest reliability, convergent validity, and predictive validity were analyzed.


Based upon item analysis and exploratory factor analysis, we retained 33 items, and 5 factors explained 51.75% of the total variance: Suicide and Self-Injurious Behaviors (SS), Aggression and Violence (AV), Rule Breaking (RB), Substance Use (SU), and Unprotected Sex (US). Cronbach’s alphas were good, from 0.77 (RB) to 0.86 (US) for boys, and from 0.74 (SD) to 0.83(SS) for girls. The 8 weeks test–retest reliabilities were moderate, ranged from 0.66 (AV) to 0.76 (SD). External validities was strong, with Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 was 0.35 (p < 0.01), and with aggressive behavior and rule-breaking behavior subscales of the Youth Self Report were 0.54 (p < 0.01) and 0.68 (p < 0.01), respectively. Predictive validity analysis also provided enough discriminantity, which can distinguish high risky individual effectively (cohen’ d = 0.79 – 2.96).


These results provide initial support for the reliability and validity of the Health-Risk Behavior Inventory for Chinese Adolescents (HBICA) as a comprehensive and developmentally appropriate assessment instrument for risk behaviors in Chinese adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent, Health-Risk behavior, Reliability, Validity

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