Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth

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Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth

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About Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth

Scale Name

Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth

Author Details

L.A. Greco, A.R. Murrell, and L.W. Coyne

Translation Availability

Not Sure

Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth
Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth

Background/Description

The Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (AFQ-Y) is a valuable tool in the assessment of psychological inflexibility in children and adolescents. Developed by L.A. Greco, A.R. Murrell, and L.W. Coyne in 2005, the AFQ-Y aims to measure cognitive fusion, experiential avoidance, and inaction or behavioral ineffectiveness in response to unwanted internal experiences.

Psychological inflexibility refers to the inability to adapt one’s behavior in the presence of unwanted thoughts, feelings, or sensations. This concept is central to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that emphasizes acceptance of internal experiences and commitment to values-based actions. The AFQ-Y is grounded in ACT’s model of human suffering and aims to assess the core processes that contribute to psychological inflexibility in youth.

The AFQ-Y consists of 17 items that ask respondents to rate the extent to which each item applies to them on a scale. These items are designed to capture the key components of psychological inflexibility, such as cognitive fusion (being entangled with thoughts), experiential avoidance (trying to avoid or control unwanted internal experiences), and inaction or behavioral ineffectiveness in response to these experiences. By measuring these constructs, the AFQ-Y provides a comprehensive assessment of psychological inflexibility in youth.

Research has shown that psychological inflexibility is associated with a range of negative outcomes, including anxiety, depression, and impaired functioning. The AFQ-Y has been found to be a strong predictor of these negative outcomes, making it a valuable tool for identifying at-risk youth and guiding intervention efforts. Its child-friendly format and focus on core ACT processes make it a practical and effective measure for assessing psychological inflexibility in children and adolescents.

In conclusion, the AFQ-Y is a well-validated instrument for assessing psychological inflexibility in youth. Developed within the framework of ACT, it provides a comprehensive assessment of cognitive fusion, experiential avoidance, and behavioral ineffectiveness in response to unwanted internal experiences. By measuring these core processes, the AFQ-Y offers valuable insights into the psychological functioning of children and adolescents and can inform targeted interventions aimed at promoting psychological flexibility and well-being.

Administration, Scoring and Interpretation

  • Gather materials:
    • Copies of the AFQ-Y questionnaire (appropriate version, depending on age)
    • Pens or pencils
    • A quiet, private space free from distractions
    • Review the questionnaire: Familiarize yourself with the questionnaire items and scoring instructions. Understand what each item measures and the response scale used (typically 1 = “not at all true” to 5 = “very true”).
  • Introduction:
    • Greet the child or adolescent and introduce yourself. Briefly explain that you will ask them some questions to understand their thoughts and feelings.
    • Obtain informed consent: When necessary, obtain informed consent from the child and/or parent/guardian according to your institution’s policies.
    • Explain the purpose of the questionnaire: Briefly explain that the questions are about their thoughts and feelings and are unrelated to their ability or intelligence.
  • Instructions:
    • Provide clear instructions:
    • Ask the participant to read each statement carefully and circle the number that best reflects how true the statement is for them.
    • Emphasize honesty and confidentiality. Reassure them there are no right or wrong answers and their responses will be kept confidential.
    • Answer any questions they may have about the task or the questionnaire.
  • Administration:
    • Allow independent completion: Encourage independent completion without offering hints or influencing their answers.
    • Be available for assistance: If they have trouble understanding any item, re-read the statement but avoid interpretations or suggesting answers.
  • After completion:
    • Thank the participant: Express appreciation for their time and participation.
    • Collect the completed questionnaire: Ensure all questions are answered.

Reliability and Validity

The reliability and validity of the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (AFQ-Y) have been extensively studied since its development in 2005. Key findings regarding its psychometric properties include:

Reliability:

  • Internal consistency: The AFQ-Y demonstrates good internal consistency across various samples, with Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ranging between 0.85 and 0.93.
  • Test–retest reliability: Short-term stability of scores has been established through test–retest analyses, indicating acceptable levels of reliability over time.

Validity:

Available Versions

17-Items

Reference

Greco, L. A., Lambert, W., & Baer, R. A. (2008). Psychological inflexibility in childhood and adolescence: development and evaluation of the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth. Psychological assessment20(2), 93.

Szemenyei, E., Reinhardt, M., Szabó, E., Szabó, K. G., Urbán, R., Harvey, S. T., … & Kökönyei, G. (2020). Measuring psychological inflexibility in children and adolescents: evaluating the avoidance and fusion questionnaire for youth. Assessment27(8), 1810-1820.

Important Link

Scale File:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the AFQ-Y?
The AFQ-Y is a self-report measure designed to evaluate psychological inflexibility in children and adolescents. It focuses on cognitive fusion, experiential avoidance, and behavioral ineffectiveness in response to unwanted internal experiences.

Who created the AFQ-Y?
L.A. Greco, A.R. Murrell, and L.W. Coyne developed the AFQ-Y in 2005.

How many items does the AFQ-Y consist of?
The AFQ-Y contains 17 items.

Which theory underpins the AFQ-Y?
The AFQ-Y is rooted in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that emphasizes acceptance of internal experiences and commitment to values-based actions.

What are the factors measured by the AFQ-Y?
The AFQ-Y measures cognitive fusion, experiential avoidance, and behavioral ineffectiveness in response to unwanted internal experiences.

Has the AFQ-Y been tested for reliability and validity?
Yes, the AFQ-Y has demonstrated good internal consistency, test–retest reliability, content validity, construct validity, convergent validity, discriminant validity, and predictive validity.

Is the AFQ-Y applicable internationally?
Yes, the AFQ-Y has been successfully applied in various cultures, including Sweden, Colombia, and others.

Can the AFQ-Y help identify at-risk youth?
Yes, higher AFQ-Y scores are associated with greater symptom severity and poorer functional outcomes, allowing clinicians to identify at-risk youth.

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