This article is free to access.
Four studies (total n = 961) developed and validated the Adolescent Conspiracy Beliefs Questionnaire (ACBQ). Initial items were developed in collaboration with teachers. An exploratory factor analysis (Study 1, n = 208, aged 11–14) and a student focus group (N = 3, aged 11) enabled us to establish the factor structure of a 9-item scale. This was replicated via confirmatory factor analysis in Study 2 (N = 178, aged 11–17), and the scale displayed good convergent (i.e., relationship with paranoia and mistrust) and discriminant validity (i.e., no relationship with extraversion). Study 3a (N = 257) further tested convergent validity with a sample of 18-year-olds (i.e., relationship with adult-validated measures of conspiracy beliefs) and demonstrated strong test–retest reliability. Study 3b (N = 318) replicated these findings with a mixed-age adult sample. The ACBQ will allow researchers to explore the psychological antecedents and consequences of conspiracy thinking in young populations.
Jolley, D., Douglas, K. M., Skipper, Y., Thomas, E., & Cookson, D. (2021). Measuring adolescents’ beliefs in conspiracy theories: Development and validation of the Adolescent Conspiracy Beliefs Questionnaire (ACBQ). British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 39(3), 499–520. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjdp.12368