• Thu. Aug 18th, 2022

Psychometric properties of the Adolescent Resilience Questionnaire (ARQ) in a sample of Swedish adolescents | BMC Psychiatry

ByRandall B. Phelps

Jul 14, 2022


Participating adolescents were recruited from schools in five different communities in central Sweden located, for convenience, within commuting distance of the university. Fifty-four schools were approached to participate and eight agreed to participate, constituting 34 different classes covering different socio-economic groups and study programs (theoretical and vocational).

In this study, 650 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 were asked to participate. Of this sample of 650 teenagers, 22 were excluded because they were over the age of 18 or gave nonsensical answers, and 12 did not complete the questionnaire, giving a study group of 616. adolescents, a participation rate of 94.8%. There were 295 girls and 319 boys, while two answered “other” to the gender question. The average age was 16.4 years (SD = 0.50), 70 adolescents were born in another country (11.4%), of which 47 were born in a country outside Europe (7.6%) and 23 (3.7%) in another European country.

The data was collected in the spring of 2020, in February and March. The study was designed as a cross-sectional community/school study to investigate the psychometric qualities of ARQ.


A letter was sent by e-mail to the principal/mistress of each of the schools, followed by telephone contact a week or two later. When a school decided to participate, a letter containing information about the research was sent. The principal/teacher who had said yes gave contact possibilities to the class teacher and a date for the search was decided.

Prior to all inquiry opportunities, teachers and mentors in all classes received verbal information about the study, and fact sheets were posted on where students can seek support if needed. In all data collection sessions, at least one of the authors was present throughout the session (FH or EK) and was available to answer questions and react to possible reactions. Prior to student participation in the study, an oral examination was held on the purpose of the study and information about the study with an emphasis on voluntariness, anonymity, and implementation instructions . After the oral exam, information letters and consent forms were distributed to all students. After signing the consent forms, the students were referred to the questionnaire survey via the website www.iterapi.se., which is connected to the Linköping University platform and is considered completely safe and secure. Since Swedish pupils use laptops, both during lessons and for homework, the online solution was decided in collaboration with the school directors. It took less than one lesson (60 min) to complete the questionnaire.

The questionnaire package consisted first of a page covering demographics and then measures.


Adolescent Resilience Questionnaire (ARQ)

The ARQ is a self-assessment instrument intended to identify the adolescent’s ability to be resilient even when experiencing difficult circumstances. [24]. It was developed by Gartland and his colleagues [24] to study internal and social resilience factors in adolescents aged 11 to 19 years in the previous six months. The instrument has 88 items, with 12 inherent scales divided into five domains. The domains are: a) Internal: with subscales of self-esteem, emotional insight, negative cognition, social skills and empathy/tolerance, b) Family: with subscales of connectedness and availability, c ) Peers: with the connectivity and availability subscales, d) School: with the enabling environment and connectivity subscales, and e) Community.

The items are formulated in statements such as: “My family listens to me” or “My life has a meaning for me”. It covers the previous six months and the response options are on a five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (always) to 5 (never). In the Australian study [24]451 students from 11 schools responded to the formula and the authors showed it to have good internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha of between 0.70 and 0.90 for all scales except the subscale Friends – availablity.

The ARQ has been translated into Swedish by three researchers with extensive knowledge of the subject and with the permission of D. Gartland [30]. When a consensus was reached by the researchers, the ARQ was back-translated by a native English teacher. The necessary corrections were then made until a final version was produced.

Sense of Coherence Scale-13 (Soc-13)

A Swedish-translated version of the Sense of Coherence (SOC) scale, created by Antonovsky [31], was used in this study. This scale is well known and has been used in many studies. The questionnaire is based on Antonovsky’s first theoretical model, which aimed to increase understanding of the relationship between coping strategies, stress and health. SOC is understood in terms of three components: intelligibility, manageability and meaning [31]. In the present study, SOC-13 was used. SOC-13 is a shorter version of SOC-29 [32]. The questions relate to different areas of life and are answered on a seven-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (very rarely or never) to 7 (very often). A high overall score suggests a strong SOC. SOC-13 has been shown to have good validity and reliability and is valuable as a cross-cultural instrument [32]and validated in Sweden [33]. In this study, Cronbach’s Alpha turned out to be 0.86.

Rosenberg’s self-esteem

The Rosenberg self-esteem scale [34] is a scale designed to measure the concept of overall self-esteem. This concept is understood in its common definition as the overall sense of worth of a person [35]. Individuals report how true all ten statements are to them. Four response options are used, ranging from 0 (strongly disagree) to 3 (strongly agree). The total score ranges from 0 to 30, with high values ​​indicating high self-esteem. In a study where 16,988 participants in 53 countries responded to RSES, the total average alpha level for all countries was 0.81, indicating good internal consistency. [36]. The scale has been validated in Sweden [37] In this study, Cronbach’s Alpha turned out to be 0.91.

Relationship Questionnaire (QR)

RQ is a self-report instrument that has four items, intended to indicate participants’ attachment style [38]. The four attachment styles identified in the RQ are believed to measure how an individual looks and behaves in relationships. They are believed to be an effect of the person’s relationship history. The four attachment styles are: secure, rejecting, preoccupied and fearfulwhere the last three indicate an insecure attachment style [38]. On the questionnaire, the participant rates on a seven-point scale ranging from 1 (totally disagree) to 7 (totally agree) how much he recognizes himself in the description of each attachment style. Question number 2 is designed to identify a secure attachment style and questions 1, 3 and 4 indicate insecure styles. The scale has been translated into Swedish [39] and was validated in 2001 [40] on a sample of adults.

Ethical considerations

This study was approved by the This study was approved by the Regional Ethics Committee of Linköping University (Ref. No. 220-08) and the authors followed the ethical codex regarding information, consent and usefulness (Swedish Research Council, 2002) . There was no agreement, reward or payment for participating.

statistical analyzes

The internal consistency of the ARQ domains was examined using Cronbach’s alpha. To test construct validity, the Gartland [24] the model was fitted to the study sample using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with the weighted least squares estimator adjusted for mean and variance (WLSMV) [41]. The model was fitted to Swedish adolescents by excluding items that did not load their respective factor. Model fit was examined by global model fit and was tested by: root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), comparative fit index (CFI), Tucker- Lewis (TLI) and Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR). Using the guiding principles established by Brown [42] and Schreiber et al. [43], several different fit indices were used. For convenience, a model was judged to have a good fit when the overall picture of fit indices indicated a good fit, and excellent if all indicated a good fit: (χ2/df

Concurrent validity was examined through correlations between factor scores generated by CFA and a) SOC-13, and b) RSES, using Kendall’s tau. Notably, Kendall’s tau values ​​are typically 66-75% the size of Pearson’s correlations [46]and for comparison purposes the most conservative 75% were used, i.e. the Pearson correlations of 0.10, 0.30 and 0.50 (often considered small, moderate and large ) are comparable to Kendall’s correlations τ values ​​of 0.075, 0.225 and 0.375.

Factor analyzes were performed using Mplus version 8.4 [47]while other analysis was done using RStudio [48] with R version 4.0.3 [49].