Background: Self-sufficiency is the realisation of an acceptable level of functioning either by the person him/herself or through the adequate organisation of help from informal or formal care providers. Assessment of self-sufficiency for determining an individual's functional strengths and areas for improvement is increasingly being applied among adolescents in vocational education, a group considered vulnerable with high school dropout rates and often characterised by an accumulation of problems. This study examined the psychometric properties of two instruments, i.e. a self-report questionnaire assessing self-sufficiency and the Self-Sufficiency Matrix for professionals (SSM-D) conducted among adolescents in vocational education.
Methods: The self-report questionnaire used to assess self-sufficiency was completed by 581 adolescents. Professionals completed the SSM-D for 224 of the 581 adolescents. Furthermore, constructs related to the domains of self-sufficiency were assessed with self-report questionnaires and information about school absenteeism was monitored via the school registration system.
Results: For both self-report and professional-report ratings, the internal consistency was satisfactory (Cronbach'a > 0.70) and various minor to strong correlations were found between the domains of self-sufficiency and related constructs. For most of the domains, there was little or no agreement between professionals and adolescents.
Conclusions: Both the self-report questionnaire assessing self-sufficiency and the SSM-D applied in this study seem to possess adequate psychometric properties. The results indicated that adolescents and professionals provide different views of adolescents' self-sufficiency, which merits further study. In the meantime, we recommend assessment of adolescents' self-sufficiency by using both the self-report questionnaire and the SSM-D to get a comprehensive measure of adolescents' self-sufficiency.

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BMC Psychology
Department of Public Health

Bannink, R., Broeren, S., Heydelberg, J., Van'T Klooster, E., & Raat, H. (2015). Psychometric properties of self-sufficiency assessment tools in adolescents in vocational education. BMC Psychology, 3(1). doi:10.1186/S40359-015-0091-2