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ACSBI-P - Adolescent Clinical Sexual Behavior - Parent Report

The ACSBI is a screening measure designed for clinical populations to assess sex-related behaviors that might suggest a need for intervention. It assesses sexual risk taking, nonconforming sexual behaviors, sexual interest, and sexual avoidance/discomfort. The ACSBI is based on the Child Sexual Behavior Inventory, a widely used measure of child sexual behavior for children aged 2-10, which is also reviewed in this database. Although the measure is psychometrically young and in need of some revision, it is an important measure in that risky and unsafe sexual behaviors are important to assess in adolescents, especially those with histories of sexual abuse. There are two versions of the ACSBI, a parent-report version (ACSBI-P) and an adolescent self-report version (ACSBI-S). Both are reviewed in this database.




Friedrich, W.N., Ph.D.

Friedrich, W.N., Lysne, M., Sim, L., & Shamos, S. (2004). Assessing sexual behavior in high-risk adolescents with the Adolescent Clinical Sexual Behavior Inventory. Child Maltreatment, 9(3), 239-250.

Domain Assessed: 
Anxiety/Mood (Internalizing Symptoms)
Subcategories of Domains Assessed: 
Sexualized Behavior
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
Measure Format: 


Number of Items: 
Reporter Type: 
Reports on behaviors over the past 12 months
Response Format: 

3 point scale (1=not true; 2=somewhat true; 3=very true)

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
DomainScale Sample Items
Sexual knowledge/interest Flirts with other teens or adults
Divergent sexual interest Peeps into windows or tries to see others in the bathroom
Sexual risk misuse Has unprotected sex
Fear Deos not like to shower or bathe
Concerns about appearance Is concerned about looking just right
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Continuous Assessment
Raw Scores

Parallel or Alternate Forms

Different Age Forms: 
Altered Version Forms: 
Alternative Forms Description: 
  • The ACSBI is based on the Child Sexual Behavior Inventory, which assesses sexual behaviors in children aged 2-10 and is also reviewed in this database.
  • The ACSBI-S is an adolescent self-report version for adolescents 12-18 (also reviewed in this database).


Notes on Psychometric Norms: 

Friedrich et al. (2004) reported on the initial reliability and validity of the measure. Some scales showed questionnable internal consistency.

Internal ConsistencyQuestionnablealpha0.390.810.68
Parallel/Alternate Forms
References for Reliability: 

From Friedrich et al. (2004)


Reliability varies for scales and was reported as follows:

  • Divergent Sexual Interest (alpha=.81)
  • Sexual Knowledge/Interest (alpha=.76)
  • Sexual Risk/Misuse (alpha=.79)
  • Concerns About Appearance (alpha=.65)
  • Fear/Discomfort (alpha=.39)
  • Reliability for the total scale was .84, with all items positively correlated with the total score.


Correlations between the parent and adolescent reports using the ACSBI-P and ACSBI-S showed that 28 of 41 items were correlated. Total scores were correlated (r=.50). However, the authors note that the ACSBI-P and ACSBI-S share only 25% of their variance, suggesting that they parents and adolescents have different perceptions regarding adolescent’s sexual behaviors.

References for Content Validity: 

From Friedrich et al. (2004) The ACSBI is based on the Child Sexual Behavior Inventory (CSBI), a widely used measure of child sexual behavior for children aged 2-10, which is also reviewed in this database. It is based on 2 domains of the CSBI, which are elevated for 10-12 year olds. The initial pool of 35 items assessed sexual knowledge and interest. Other items were added “to reflect salient behaviors described in the literature, for example sexual concerns, promiscuity, body image, sexual risk taking, and running away.” Items were tested with 23 inpatient adolescents. “Troublesome items were reworded, and 10 items were added.”

Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Sensitive to Change
Intervention Effects
Longitudinal/Maturation Effects
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct GroupsYes
Factorial ValidityYes
References for Construct Validity: 

From Friedrich et al. (2004).

ACSBI-P scores correlated with the three Sexual Concerns scales of Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC), the Adolescent Sexual Concerns Questionnaire (ASCQ), and CBCL total and subscale scores.

Adolescents with a sexual abuse history had higher scores on the ASCBI-P total score and Sexual Knowledge/Interest, Sexual Risk Taking, Divergent Sexual Interest, and Fear/Discomfort scales compared to those without a history of abuse.

Friedrich et al. (2004) examined the factor structure of the ACSBI using a principal components analysis and an orthogonal varimax rotation. They identified 5-factors for both the parent and self-report version. For the ACSBI-P (the parent version), the factors accounted for 46.8% of the variance. Forty-one of 45 items were included in the solution as they had item loadings greater or equal to .30 on at least one scale. Factors were labeled: 1) Sexual Knowledge/Interest; 2) Divergent Sexual Interest; 3) Sexual Risk/Misuse; 4) Fear/Discomfort, and 5) Concerns about Appearance. These are the same factors identified for the adolescent self-report version (ACSBI-S).

Criterion Validity: 
Not KnownNot FoundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Predictive Validity:Yes
Postdictive Validity: Yes
References for Criterion Validity: 

No information available.

Overall Psychometric Limitations: 
  • As noted by the authors, the Fear/Discomfort scale has questionable reliability.
  • Only 42 of the 45 items loaded on scales in the factor analysis.
  • Psychometrics examined in a predominantly White, middle to upper class sample. More research is needed on psychometrics, but this is a promising measure.
  • The author reports that the measure is being used in two longitudinal studies at two different sites: 1) Elizabeth Letourneau at the Medical University of South Carolina, and 2) Longscan at the University of North Carolina.



Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

The development sample (Friedrich et al., 2004) included 174 adolescents aged 12-18 (M=15, SD=1.4) and their primarily female caregivers (81.5%). The sample was predominantly White, educated (74% had 12+ years of education), and upper to middle class. Adolescents included 46.6% males and 53.4% females. Adolescents were recruited from a partial hospitalization or inpatient program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York (n=120) or an outpatient evaluation program in Denver, Colorado (n=54).

Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Sexual Abuse

Pros & Cons/References

  • The measure taps the important domain of adolescent sexual behavior. This domain is essential when working with adolescents who have experienced trauma, in particular sexual abuse, and is important for any clinical population of adolescents.
  • The measure is based on a widely used and well validated measure of child sexual behavior (CSBI-III).
  • The measure has comparable parent and adolescent versions.
  • At the present time, the measure is free.
  • The measure is psychometrically immature and some problems, such as the low reliability of the fear/discomfort scale and the fact that not all items load on scales will need to be resolved.
  • More studies, including studies with diverse populations, are needed before the measure can be adapted.
  • Norms have not yet been developed, which will facilitate interprpretation.
Author Comments: 

The author provided comments on the review, which were integrated.


A PsychInfo search (6/05) of "Adolescent Clinical Sexual Behavior Inventory or ACSBI" anywhere revealed the measure has been referenced in 1 peer reviewed journal article.

Friedrich, W.N., Lysne, M., Sim, L., & Shamos, S. (2004). Assessing sexual behavior in high-risk adolescents with the Adolescent Clinical Sexual Behavior Inventory. Child Maltreatment, 9(3), 239-250.

Developer of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Last Updated: 
Monday, March 17, 2014