RISQ Measure

The Risky, Impulsive, & Self-destructive behavior Questionnaire (RISQ) is a 38-item self-report questionnaire that measures risky, impulsive, and self-destructive behaviors in 8 domains (aggression, self-harm, gambling, impulsive spending/driving, impulsive eating, risky sex, illegal behavior, and alcohol use). For each behavior, respondents note the number of times they have engaged in the behavior in their lifetime, how many times in the past month, and how old they were when they first started engaging in the behavior. Additionally, the respondents indicate if there were any consequences (e.g., legal, relationship, financial) as a result of their behavior (dichotomous: yes/no). Finally, for each behavior respondents indicate how strongly they agree with statements that assess their motivation (distress or pleasure) for engaging in the behavior (0=Strongly disagree; 1=Somewhat disagree; 2=Equally disagree/agree; 3=Somewhat agree; 4=Strongly Agree).

RISQ Scoring for behaviors (lifetime, last month), age of onset (mean), perceived consequences (mean), & affective triggers (mean approach/mean avoidance):

  • Total Score: all items
  • Drug Behaviors: 4, 5, 12, 20, 24, 27, 31, 34
  • Aggression: 8, 14, 15, 18, 19,
  • Gambling: 3, 17, 32, 33
  • Risky Sexual Behavior: 7, 10, 23, 29
  • Heavy Alcohol Use: 11, 22,
  • Self-Harm: 9, 16, 26, 36,
  • Impulsive Eating: 28, 35
  • Reckless Behaviors: 2, 6, 30, 37

Considerations: To reduce skewness in the frequency of behaviors, create bins of 0 (0), 1-10 (1), 11-50 (2), 51-100 (3), >100 (4)

A copy of the measure is provided here: RISQ self-report


Initial Validation Study: 

Sadeh, N.+ & Baskin-Sommers, A.+ (2017). Risky, impulsive, and self-destructive behavior Questionnaire (RISQ): A validation study. Assessment, 24(8), 1080-1094. +Authors contributed equally to this work.


Selected Publications Using the RISQ: 

  • Sadeh, N., Spielberg, J. M., & Hayes, J. P. (2018). Impulsive responding in threat and reward contexts as a function of PTSD symptoms and trait disinhibition. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 53, 76-84.
  • Brennan, G. M., Crowley, M. J., Wu, J., Mayes, L. C., & Baskin-Sommers, A. R. (2018). Neural processing of social exclusion in individuals with psychopathic traits: Links to anger and aggression. Psychiatry Research, 268, 263-271.
  • Tillem, S., Brennan, G., Wu, J., Mayes, L., & Baskin-Sommers, A. (2018). Alpha response reveals attention abnormalities in psychopathy. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment.
  • Kemp, E., Sadeh, N., & Baskin-Sommers, A. (2018). A Latent Profile Analysis of Affective Triggers for Risky and Impulsive Behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2651-2651.
  • Brennan, G. M., & Baskin-Sommers, A. R. (2018). Brain-behavior relationships in externalizing: P3 amplitude reduction reflects deficient inhibitory control. Behavioural Brain Research, 337, 70-79.
  • Sadeh, N. & Bredemeier, K. (2019). Engaging in risky and impulsive behaviors to alleviate distress mediates associations between intolerance of uncertainty and externalizing psychopathology. Journal of Personality Disorders, 1-16.
  • Miglin, R., Bounoua, N., Goodling, S., Sheehan, A., Spielberg, J. M., & Sadeh, N. (2019). Cortical thickness links impulsive personality traits and risky behavior. Brain Sciences, 9(12), e9120373
  • Bounoua, N., Hayes, J., & Sadeh, N. (in press). Identifying self-injurious typologies among trauma-exposed veterans: Exploring the role of affective impulsivity. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention.
  • Brennan, G. M., Crowley, M. J., Wu, J., Mayes, L. C., & Baskin-Sommers, A. R. (2018). Neural processing of social exclusion in individuals with psychopathic traits: Links to anger and aggression. Psychiatry research268, 263-271.
  • Bounoua, N., Miglin, R., Spielberg, J. M., & Sadeh, N. (2020). Childhood assaultive trauma and physical aggression: Links with cortical thickness in prefrontal and occipital cortices. Neuroimage: clinical27, 102321.
  • Miglin, R., Bounoua, N., Spielberg, J. M., & Sadeh, N. (2020). A Transdiagnostic Examination of Affective Motivations for Drug Use. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 100279.
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