Functional and dysfunctional impulsivity: contribution to the construct validity


Hervé Caci, Pediatrics Department, University Hospital Center in Nice, Hospital Archet 2, 151, route de Saint-Antoine de Ginestière, BP 3079, 06202 Nice Cedex 3, France
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Objective: Impulsivity has been found to be an important trait of personality, whose consequences are not always negative although available questionnaires focused on its ‘dysfunctional’ aspect.

Method: Dickman's Functional and Dysfunctional Impulsivity questionnaire has been translated into French, and filled out by students. The tetrachoric correlation matrices were factor analysed.

Results: The psychometric properties are very close to those of the English version, and we recovered both factors in males and females. The factor similarities between the genders (in our sample) and between the languages (English vs. French) are very good. The Dysfunctional scale is correlated with the Motor Impulsivity subscale of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and both scales are grossly independent from Spielberger's Trait-Anxiety Inventory.

Conclusion: Our results support a two-factor solution similar to the English one. Nevertheless, the validity of the functional factor remains to be investigated in further studies.