DOI: 10.1002/ab.22145 ISSN: 0096-140X

Psychometric properties of the Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire‐short form among law enforcement officers

Michael Christopher, Marissa Ferry, Akeesha Simmons, Alicia Vasquez, Brooke Reynolds, Daniel Grupe
  • General Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Repeatedly capturing national headlines, excessive law enforcement officer (LEO) use of force in critical incident encounters is one of the most divisive human rights issues in the United States. Valid and reliable measures of potential precursors to LEO excessive use of force, such as aggression, are needed. The Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire‐short form (BPAQ‐SF) is a validated measure of aggression across various populations; however, evaluation of this easily administered measure in high‐stress, frontline populations such as LEOs is limited. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the validity, reliability, and sensitivity to change the BPAQ‐SF in a sample of LEOs. A confirmatory factor analysis suggested that the hierarchical solution provides a mixed fit to the data: SBχ²(25.84) = 62.50, p = .0001; comparative fit index = .94, non‐normed fit index = .92, root mean square error of approximation = .19 (90% confidence interval = .17–.21), standardized root mean squared residual = .08. The BPAQ‐SF demonstrated good internal consistency (α = .84) and test–retest reliability (r = .86), correlations in the expected direction with predictors of and buffers against aggression, and sensitivity to change among LEOs who participated in an intervention targeting aggression. Results support and extend previous findings suggesting that the BPAQ‐SF is a valid and reliable measure of aggression among LEOs.

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