Objective. A factor analysis of the Matson Evaluation of Social Skills for Individuals with Severe Retardation (MESSIER) was conducted to determine if there was an underlying factor structure which supported a distinction between positive and negative social skills.
Design. Principal Axis Factoring with oblimin rotation was used to determine if a two-factor solution was valid. This method was selected to account for shared variance between the items and for correlation between the factors.
Method. The MESSIER was administered by trained staff to 805 individuals with severe and profound intellectual disability residing in a state residential facility.
Results. Results of the factor analysis yielded two categories (positive and negative behaviours) that corresponded to the general division of the clinically derived subscales.
Conclusions. The psychometric research on the MESSIER was extended with an examination of the factor structure. The results of the factor analysis, corresponding with the general division of the clinically derived subscales, are promising. Future research should be conducted to determine if factor scores can be used to determine norms.