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Measuring psychological flexibility in autistic adults: Examining the validity and reliability of the AAQ-II, BEAQ, and VQ (Pages 125-133)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)

Volume 26, October 2022, Pages 125-133


Ty B. Aller, Tyson Barrett, Mike Levin, Maryellen Brunson McClain


Autistic adults, adults who have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, are more likely than their non-autistic peers to experience mental health concerns. A growing body of literature supports interventions that target psychological flexibility as a useful approach for reducing mental health concerns in autistic adults. Despite this, psychometric evidence on measuring psychological flexibility within this population is scant. Accordingly, we determined the validity and reliability of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II), Brief Experiential Avoidance Questionnaire (BEAQ), and Valuing Questionnaire (VQ) in measuring psychological flexibility in a sample of 461 autistic adults. Each of the measures demonstrated consistent factor structures and internal consistency as was proposed in the original measurement development articles. Convergent, discriminant, and explanatory validity of the AAQ-II, BEAQ, and VQ aligned with a priori hypotheses. The AAQ-II, BEAQ and VQ obstruction subscale demonstrated redundancy in one another suggesting the benefits of selecting a single measure of psychological flexibilty for research. The VQ Progress subscale demonstrated more explanatory validity for key mental health outcomes compared to the other measures. Overall, the VQ scale might be the most useful of the three measures in measuring psychological flexibility in autistic adults in clinical settings, but each included scale appeared reliable and valid for this population.

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