Psychometric Properties of the Adult Scale of Hostility and Aggression: Reactive/Proactive (A-SHARP) for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities




Rick-Betancourt, Brittney

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Background: The Adult Scale of Hostility and Aggression: Reactive/Proactive (A-SHARP; Matlock & Aman, 2011) was developed to assess aggressive problem behaviors common in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The 52-item A-SHARP has five subscales (Verbal Aggression, Physical Aggression, Hostile Affect, Covert Aggression, and Bullying) and in addition provides a score on the degree of provocation of the exhibited aggression. Psychometric properties as reported by Matlock and Aman (2014) were very good, yet need to be corroborated. Method: In 2013, staff at a day treatment program for adults with intellectual disabilities completed ratings on the A-SHARP for all their clients (n=194) and the Behavior Problems Inventory-01 (BPI-01; Rojahn et al., 2001). The BPI-01 was also completed in 2008. The Behavior Problems Inventory-Short Form (BPI-S; Rojahn et al., 2012a) was completed in 2012. Results: Internal consistency was excellent for the A-SHARP Problem and Provocation scales (Cronbach α =.96 and .90), ranging from .76 to .93 for the five subscales. As for concurrent validity of the A-SHARP, subscale scores correlated with the 2013 BPI-01 Aggressive/Destructive Behavior frequency and severity ratings from .15 to .68 (Spearman ρ). Furthermore, regression analyses suggest that scores from the 2008 BPI-01 and the 2012 BPI-S predicted scores on the relevant A-SHARP scales. Conclusions: The A-SHARP was found to have acceptable to excellent internal consistency, while evidence for concurrent validity of select A-SHARP subscales was moderate. These findings and their implications for the assessment of aggressive behavior in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are discussed.



Intellectual disabilities, Aggressive behavior, Aggression, Adults, Maladaptive behavior