The Infant Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ and IBQ-R)

Sara 4 MonthsThe original IBQ was developed by Dr. Rothbart in the early 1980s and first reported in the 1981 Child Development article, “Measurement of Temperament in Infancy” (Rothbart, 1981).This early form of the instrument assessed 6 domains of infant temperament (activity level, soothability, fear, distress to limitations, smiling and laughter, and duration of orienting).The items on the IBQ ask parents to rate the frequency of specific temperament-related behaviors observed over the past week (or sometimes 2 weeks).

In 1998, Dr. Rothbart and her colleague, Dr. Masha Gartstein, revised the IBQ by refining the original scales and adding several new scales. The new instrument is referred to as the IBQ-Revised (IBQ-R). Short (91 items; 14 scales) and Very Short (37 items; 3 broad scales) forms of the IBQ-R were developed by Sam Putnam and colleagues in 2008.

The following non-English versions of the IBQ-R are available for download:

  • An Arabic version of the IBQ-R, translated by Andrea Berger at Ben-Gurion University of Negev.
  • A Chinese version of the IBQ-R, translated by Keng-Ling Lay of National Taiwan University
  • Czech versions of the IBQ-R Standard and Very Short Forms, translated by Miloň Potměšil and Petra Potměšilová of Palacky of University in Olomouc
  • A Danish version of the IBQ-R Very Short Form, translated by Katrine Isabella Wendelboe and Johanne Smith-Nielson
  • A Dutch version of the IBQ-R Standard and Short Forms, translated by M. Roest-Zeeuw and K. van Doesum, with minor corrections made by Christina Bergmann, Julia Egger and Cielke Hendriks.
  • Finnish versions of the IBQ-R standard and short forms, translated by Katri Raikkonen-Talvitie, Kati Heinonon, and the Developmental Psychology Research Group of University of Helsinki
  • A French version of the IBQ-R, translated by Thomas Cascales
  • A German version of the IBQ, translated by Susanne Kristen, Hannah Eisenbus, Claudia Thoermer, and Beate Sodian
  • German versions of the IBQ-R Standard and Very Short Forms, translated by Susanne Kristen, Hannah Eisenbus, Claudia Thoermer, and Beate Sodian
  • A Greek version of the IBQ-R Short Form, translated by M Arampatzi and L. Zacharaki
  • A Hebrew version of the IBQ, translated by Ariel Knafo
  • Hungarian versions of the IBQ, IBQ-R Standard, and IBQ-R Very Short Forms, translated by Krisztina Lakatos
  • Italian versions of the IBQ-R Standard, Short, and Very Short Forms, translated by Rosario Montirosso, Patrizia Cozzi, and Sam Putnam
  • A Japanese version of the IBQ, translated by Kazuo Miyake, Nobuko Hoshi, and Emiko Kusanagi
  • A Japanese version of the IBQ-R, translated by Astuko Nakagawa
  • A Kannada (spoken in South Indian state of Karnataka) version of the IBQ, translated by Michelle Fernandes
  • A Korean version of the IBQ-R, translated by Keumjoo Kwak and Suchung Kim
  • Lithuanian versions of the IBQ-R, translated by Dalia Nasvytienė and Tomas Lazdauskas
  • A Norwegian (Bokmal) version of the IBQ, translated by Anne Mari Torgersen
  • Norwegian (Bokmal) translations of short versions of select IBQ-R scales, translated by Harald Janson and Asne Naerde
  • A Persian translation of IBQ-R.  Translated by Faeazeh Hosseini.
  • A Polish version of the IBQ-R, translated by Wojciecha Ł. Dragana, Grażyny Kmity and Krzysztofa Fronczyka
  • A Portuguese (Brazilian) version of the IBQ-R, translated by Vivian Caroline Klein and Maria Beatriz Martins Linhares; and a Portuguese (Brazilian) version of the IBQ-R Very Short Form compiled by Ana Osorio and Vera Mateus from items translated by Klein and Linhares
  • A Portuguese (European) version of the IBQ-R, translated by João Moreira
  • A Romanian version of the IBQ, translated by Oana Benga and Elena Geangu
  • A Russian version of the IBQ-R, translated by Helena Slobodskaya
  • A Serbian-Bosnian version of the IBQ-R Short Form, translated by Olja Borovnica.
  • A Spanish (Chilean) version of the IBQ-R, translated by Chamarrita Farkas at The Psychology School of the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile
  • A Spanish (European) version of the IBQ-R, translated by Carmen Gonzalez and GIPSE (el Grupo de Investigación en Psicología Evolutiva at the University of Murcia, Spain), with Short and Very Short forms derived by Miguel Carrasco.
  • A Spanish (Mexican) version of the IBQ, translated by Carmen Gonzalez and GIPSE (el Grupo de Investigación en Psicología Evolutiva at the University of Murcia, Spain)
  • A Spanish (Mexican) versions of the IBQ-R Very short and standard forms, translated by Carmen Gonzalez and GIPSE (el Grupo de Investigación en Psicología Evolutiva at the University of Murcia, Spain) and revised by Sally Myers.
  • Swedish versions of the IBQ-R Standard, Short and Very Short Forms; translated by Eric Zander
  • A Turkish version of the IBQ-R Standard form; translated by Gülsün Ünal Yarar and Sibel Kazak-Berument
  • A Vietnamese version of the IBQ-R Very Short Form (pdf). Translated by Hien Anh T. Nguyen and  Mizuki Takegata.

The Questionnaire

The IBQ and IBQ-R have been designed to measure temperament in infants between the ages of 3 and 12 months. The IBQ-R assesses the following dimensions of temperament:

  • Activity Level: Movement of arms and legs, squirming and locomotor activity.
  • Distress to Limitations: Baby’s fussing, crying or showing distress while a) in a confining place or position; b) involved in caretaking activities; c) unable to perform a desired action.
  • Approach: Rapid approach, excitement, and positive anticipation of pleasurable activities.
  • Fear: The baby’s startle or distress to sudden changes in stimulation, novel physical objects or social stimuli; inhibited approach to novelty.
  • Duration of Orienting: The baby’s attention to and/or interaction with a single object for extended periods of time.
  • Smiling and Laughter: Smiling or laughter from the child in general caretaking and play situations.
  • Vocal Reactivity: Amount of vocalization exhibited by the baby in daily activities.
  • Sadness: General low mood; lowered mood and activity specifically related to personal suffering, physical state, object loss, or inability to perform a desired action.
  • Perceptual Sensitivity: Amount of detection of slight, low intensity stimuli from the external environment.
  • High Intensity Pleasure: Amount of pleasure or enjoyment related to high stimulus intensity, rate, complexity, novelty, and incongruity.
  • Low Intensity Pleasure: Amount of pleasure or enjoyment related to situations involving low stimulus intensity, rate, complexity, novelty, and incongruity.
  • Cuddliness: The baby’s expression of enjoyment and molding of the body to being held by a caregiver.
  • Soothability: Baby’s reduction of fussing, crying, or distress when the caretaker uses soothing techniques.
  • Falling Reactivity/Rate of Recovery from Distress:Rate of recovery from peak distress, excitement, or general arousal; ease of falling asleep.

For questions regarding the IBQ or IBQ-R, contact Masha Gartstein at gartstma@wsu.edu (postal mail: Department of Psychology, Washington State University, PO Box 644820, Pullman, WA 99164-4820)

Please note that these questionnaires are to be used for research purposes only. If you are interested in acquiring current versions of these instruments, we request that you first complete our request form, providing us with a brief description of your plans for use of the measures. Following the completion of your research, we request that you contact us to inform us of the results of your project as they relate to the temperament scales.In this way, we hope to coordinate attempts at validation of the scales.

Documentation:

Rothbart, M. K. (1981). Measurement of temperament in infancy. Child Development, 52, 569-578.

Gartstein, M. A., & Rothbart, M. K. (2003). Studying infant temperament via the Revised Infant Behavior Questionnaire. Infant Behavior and Development, 26 (1), 64-86.

Putnam, S. P., Helbig, A. L., Gartstein, M. A., Rothbart, M. K. & Leerkes, E. (2014). Development and Assessment of Short and Very Short Forms of the Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised. Journal of Personality Assessment, 96, 445-458.