Initial Validation and Measurement Invariance of the Active Inhibition Scale Among Traumatized and Grieving Youth

Cody G. Dodd, Ryan M. Hill, Lauren M. Alvis, Evan E. Rooney, Christopher M. Layne, Tami Logsdon, Irwin N. Sandler, Julie B. Kaplow

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1 Scopus citations


The Active Inhibition Scale (AIS; Ayers, Sandler, & Twohey, 1998) is an 11-item, self-report measure of emotional suppression among children and adolescents. Previous research with the AIS has linked emotional suppression to several clinically significant outcomes, such as posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and suicide, among trauma-exposed and bereaved youth; however, there are no published evaluations of its psychometric properties. We examined the factor structure and criterion validity of the AIS in two samples. Sample 1 included youth (M = 12.22 years, SD = 2.96, range: 6–18 years; 55.4% female) referred to an outpatient psychology clinic specializing in childhood trauma and grief. Sample 2 included youth (M = 13.18 years, SD = 2.58, range: 8–18 years; 61.8% female) referred to a community grief counseling center. Confirmatory factor analytic results supported a one-factor solution, Cronbach's α =.94. Additionally, AIS scores correlated positively with PTSS, depression, and maladaptive grief, rs =.43–.64. Evidence of factorial invariance was found across gender, race/ethnicity, and age group. Emotional suppression scores were higher among girls compared to boys, Black and Hispanic youth compared to White youth, and older compared to younger age groups. The magnitude of correlations between AIS and symptom measure scores was comparable across groups. These results support the reliability and criterion validity of the AIS with diverse youth populations and underscore the role that emotional suppression may play in explaining group differences in mental health symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-849
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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