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Development And Validation Of The Brain Fag Propensity Scale

David O. Igbokwe, Bolanle A. Ola


Brain Fag Syndrome (BFS) is a psychiatric disorder associated with study among African students. Among secondary school students, it affects two to four out of every ten students. One of the consequences of this illness is early foreclosure of education in affected students. However, clinical experience suggests that many students have sub-threshold symptoms of brain fag and are at risk for developing brain fag syndrome. This study aimed to develop a valid and reliable psychometric instrument that measures brain fag syndrome propensity.

External and internal expert panels as well as a patient focus group evaluated a large pool of potential item stems gathered from the psychological and psychiatric literature. Potential scale items were then administered to 250 students along with a set of validating questionnaires. Final item selection was based upon rigorous empirical criteria and the psychometric properties of the final scale were examined.

A final four dimensional 20-item scale, the Brain Fag Syndrome Propensity Scale, has a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.795, split half reliability of 0.813 for the part 1 (10 items) and 0.585 for the part 2 (10 items), and spearman-Brown coefficient of 0.557. The intrinsic validity yielded a coefficient of 0.892.

The current results indicate the BFPS has an excellent internal consistency as well as good content and concurrent validity and should have significant utility as a brief, valid measure of propensity to develop brain fag syndrome or sub-threshold cases of BFS. ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry, Vol.12(1), Jan - June 2011: XX XX.