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Behavioral activation (BA) is a well-established empirical treatment for depression that aims to improve depressive mood by increasing activation and reducing avoidance. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate activation and avoidance when a BA treatment is applied. The Behavioral Activation for Depression Scale (BADS) was developed to measure the changes in activation and avoidance over the course of BA treatment of depression. This study aims to validate the French version of this scale. In a first study, 131 bilingual adults was recruited to explored internal consistency, test-retest reliability and construct validity of the final French version. In a second study, 409 non-clinical adults completed an online survey assessing concurrent measures. Results of the first study suggest good internal consistency, test-retest reliability and construct validity. The second study revealed a confirmatory factor analysis supporting the original four-factor structure, with Activation, Avoidance/Rumination, Work/School Impairment, and Social Impairment subscales. Results also revealed that a 5-factor model distinguishing Behavioral Avoidance and Rumination had a better fit than the original four-factor structure. All subscales showed adequate internal consistency and good construct validity with evidence of convergent validity with depressive symptoms, brooding, psychological flexibility, negative automatic thought, behavioral inhibition and activation system. Furthermore, the French BADS total scale and subscales showed a good ability to predict depressive symptoms. The French version of the BADS appears to be a reliable tool for clinician and researchers to assess mechanisms of change in BA interventions.
Keywords: Behavioral activation; psychometric properties; depression