Psychometric properties of the Children’s Automatic Thoughts Scale (CATS) in Chinese adolescents.


The Children’s Automatic Thoughts Scale (CATS) is a 40-item self-report questionnaire designed to measure children’s negative thoughts. This study examined the psychometric properties of the Chinese translation of the CATS. Participants included 1,993 students (average age = 14.73) from three schools in Mainland China. A subsample of the participants was retested after 4 weeks. Confirmatory factor analysis replicated the original structure with four first-order factors loading on a single higher-order factor. The convergent and divergent validity of the CATS were good. The CATS demonstrated high internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Boys scored higher on the CATS-hostility subscale, but there were no other gender differences. Older adolescents (15-18 years) reported higher scores than younger adolescents (12-14 years) on the total score and on the physical threat, social threat, and hostility subscales. The CATS proved to be a reliable and valid measure of automatic thoughts in Chinese adolescents.