A Validation of the Academic Behavioural Confidence Scale with Spanish Psychology Students

Paul Sander, Jesus De La Fuente Arias, Keith Stevenson, Tim Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has shown that UK university students’ confidence in engaging with their academic studies can be usefully measured using the Academic Behavioural Confidence (ABC) scale. The scale is best considered as a 17-item scale measuring confidence towards grades, studying, verbalising and attendance. A substantial collaborative study with research partners in Spain created the need for the ABC scale to be translated into Castellan Spanish, providing an opportunity to carry out a cross-cultural validation of the scale. A total of 2,056 Spanish psychology students from the universities of Almería and Granada in south-eastern Spain completed an appropriately translated version of the ABC scale. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis showed that the four-subscale structure derived from equivalent UK students was still the best description of the data, although the fit of the four-factor model to the Spanish data was not quite as good as it had been with an equivalent UK sample. Possible explanations for the poorer fit are discussed. A further opportunity arose to validate the Spanish version of the ABC scale against the Revised Two-Factor Study Process Questionnaire. The findings showed that the ABC subscales of Grades, Studying and Verbalising significantly correlated with a deep approach to learning, as predicted, although it is noted that the correlation coefficients, whilst significant (p < .01), were again not as high as seen with the UK student data. It is nevertheless argued that the ABC scale in both its Spanish and English versions is a useful way of understanding students’ orientation to their university study, and can be used in research, as a diagnostic tool or to aid tutors in creating more effective learning opportunities for their students
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology Learning and Teaching
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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