This study validates the Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire for children (SPSRQ-C), using a Dutch sample of 1234 children between 6-13 years old. Factor analysis determined that a 4-factor and a 5-factor solution were best fitting, explaining 41% and 50% of the variance respectively. The 4-factor model was highly similar to the original SPSRQ factors found in adults (Punishment Sensitivity, Reward Responsivity, Impulsivity/Fun-Seeking, and Drive). The 5-factor model was similar to the 4-factor model, with the exception of a subdivision of the Punishment Sensitivity factor into a factor with 'social-fear' items and a factor with 'anxiety' items. To determine external validity, scores of three groups of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were compared on the EFA models: ADHD-only (n = 34), ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ADHD+ASD; n = 22), ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder (ADHD+ODD; n = 22). All ADHD groups scored higher than typical controls on Reward Responsivity and on the 'anxiety' factor (n = 75). The ADHD-only and ADHD+ODD group scored higher than other groups on Impulsivity/Fun-Seeking and Drive, while the ADHD+ASD group scored higher on Punishment Sensitivity. The findings emphasize the value of the SPSRQ-C to quickly and reliably assess a child's sensitivity to reinforcement, with the aim to provide individually-tailored behavioral interventions that utilize reward and reprimands.

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Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Luman, M., Meel, C., Oosterlaan, J., & Geurts, H. (2012). Reward and Punishment Sensitivity in Children with ADHD: Validating the Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire for Children (SPSRQ-C). Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(1), 145–157. doi:10.1007/s10802-011-9547-x