Psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the fear of negative evaluation scale-brief (BFNE) and the BFNE-straightforward for middle school students

Jia Wei, Chunyu Zhang, Yadan Li, Song Xue, Jinfu Zhang
PloS One 2015, 10 (3): e0115948

BACKGROUND: The 12-item brief version of the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (BFNE) is one of the most widely used instruments to assess fear of negative evaluation. Recent evidence strongly supports the version composed of 8 straightforward items (BFNE-S), which possessesstronger psychometric properties. The purpose of the current study is to examine the psychometric prop-erties of the Chinese versions of the BFNE and BFNE-S for middle school students.

METHODOLOGY: A total of 1009 middle school students were recruited in this study. The BFNE, the BFNE-S, the Friedman-Bendas Text Anxiety Scale (FBTAS), and the Social Anxiety Scale (SAS) were administered to 497 participants, and 52 participants were re-tested after four weeks. The BFNE, the BFNE-S, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), and the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (BIDR) wereadministered to 492 participants. The BFNE and BFNE-S significantly cor-related with all the scales, supporting their convergent, divergent and concurrent validity.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The Cronbach's alpha of the BFNE (BFNE-S) was 0.864 (0.867) with 497 par-ticipants and 0.886 (0.844) with 492 participants, and the test-retest reliability coefficient was 0.791 (0.855) (ICC). Although the EFA identified a two-factor solution in which the 8 straightfor-ward items loaded on one factor and the 4 reversed items loaded on the other, the CFA, using a random intercept model to control the wording effect, supported a unidimensional factor struc-ture of the BFNE. Both EFA and CFA supported the unidimensional assumption of the BFNE-S. The correlations of the BFNE and BFNE-S were 0.929 and 0.952 in two samples.

CONCLUSIONS: The Chinese versions of the BFNE and BFNE-S demonstrate adequate psychometric properties for assessing fear of negative evaluation. The results support their use among the Chinese middle school students. Considering its greater parsimony and excellent reliability and validity, the BFNE-S is a better tool.

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