Category: Cultural Diversity / Vulnerable Populations

PS5- #C72 - Psychometric Properties of the Children’s Automatic Thoughts Scale (CATS) in Serbian and Vietnamese Youth

Friday, Nov 17
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Cultural Diversity/ Vulnerable Populations | Assessment | Cognitive Therapy

The Children’s Automatic Thoughts Scale (CATS) is a forty-item measure of negative beliefs hypothesized to underlie emotional disturbance (Schniering & Rapee, 2002). The CATS was constructed in accordance with principles of Cognitive Therapy, and thus was formed with the supposition that specific cognitions are linked with specific psychological disorders. Sun et al. (2014) provided the CATS to a sample of Chinese youth, and demonstrated that the structure of automatic thoughts in this population was the same as shown in Western studies. The present study examined the reliability and validity of the CATS in children and adolescents in additional culturally and linguistically diverse samples. More specifically, this study examined the psychometric properties of the CATS within a Serbian (N= 225) and Vietnamese (N= 169) population of children and adolescents. Participants (average age: Serbia = 13.95, Vietnam = 9.83) and their parents also completed the Conners Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scale (Conners CBRS), which assesses a variety of disorders and emotional, behavioral, and academic problems affecting children and adolescents. Preliminary analyses indicate excellent internal consistency for the CATS total scale in each country (Serbia α =  .95, Serbia; Vietnam α = .96). Moreover, CATS subscales demonstrated adequate to excellent internal consistency. Interestingly, while average U.S. scores on the CATS is reported as 38.19, the Serbian sample demonstrated significantly less negative automatic thoughts. CATS total scores were significant predictors on each CBRS subscale, predicting the highest variance on the Major Depressive Episode (43.8%), Emotional Distress (41.2%), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (35.6%), Physical Symptoms (33.5%), and Violence Potential (31.5%) subscales. Exploratory factor analyses were conducted, demonstrating adequate unidimensionality of the four-factor structure. Future analyses will include confirmatory factor analysis with unweighted least squares estimation to test the fit of a four-factor structure. Further, a series of multiple regressions will be conducted with measures of anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems as the dependent variables in order to determine the ability of the subscales to uniquely predict different types of symptoms. Overall, this information will be utilized to gain support for the utilization of the CATS within specific and diverse populations. Implications for this study include the implementation of valid diagnostic assessment measures, as well as valid intervention planning tools in order to provide culturally and linguistically relevant psychological services. 

Thomas Kelly

Graduate Student
St. John's University
Bayside, New York

Ashley Hicks

St. John's University
Forest Hills, New York

Mark Terjesen

Associate Professor; Director, Graduate Programs in School Psychology
St. John's University
Glen Cove, New York

Kristine Lin

Graduate Student
St. John's University