Barry Bricklin, Ph.D.
A Research-Based Custody Test Which Measures A Child's
Perceptions Of Each Parent in Four Critical Areas: Competency,
Supportiveness, Consistency, And Admirable Traits. Age 6 and up.
BPS Computer Scoring Profile
BPS Comprehensive Starting Kit
The BPS is made up of 64 cards, each about
the size of a business envelope (3.5" by 8.5"). On one side of every
card is a horizontal line. It is aligned with a scoring grid on
the other side. The child sees only the lines; the examiner sees
the test questions and the scoring grids. Each card is placed in
a cardboard box on a piece of styrofoam, with the horizontal line
facing up. In response to a question, the child punches a hole through
the line using a stylus-pen.
Example: "If you had to
memorize a long, boring poem for school, how well would Mom do
at being patient enough to help you learn this?" (Some examiners
like to record the child's verbal response.)
"If this is Mom doing very
well at being patient (the examiner points to the Very Well end
of the line) and this is Mom doing not so well at being patient
(the examiner points to the Not So Well end of the line) where
on this line would Mom be?" The Child responds non-verbally, by
punching a hole.
Thirty-two cards later
the identical question appears, this time about Dad.
All of the information
needed to administer and score the test is provided on the examiner
sides of the cards.
to 35 minutes the first few times given, eventually working down
to about 20 to 25 minutes.
scoring sheet groups the test questions in four main areas, measuring
the child's perceptions of each parent's ability to be: (1) a
good role model for the skills of competency; (2) a source of
warmth and empathy; (3) consistent; (4) a role model for other
admirable traits. (Scoring time: by hand - 10 minutes; by computer
- 2 minutes.)
Age Scope:All Children
6 years of age and up grasp BPS instructions quite easily. Hence,
we suggest age 6 as the "bottom-line" age for reliable and valid
However, we have used the
test effectively with children as young as 4. The critical factor
is whether or not the instructions are understood.
The BPS is designed for use either in highly
adversarial situations (which unfortunately, are still frequent),
or more ideally, to assist in forging win-win scenarios for parents
and involved children in less adversarial circumstances.
In highly adversarial
cases, the test can be used to establish a data-chosen, research-supported
primary caretaking parent (PCP).
In the other more fortunate
situation, the test is explained to all involved parties (parents,
judges, attorneys, etc.) as ideal to assist in custody decisions.
Not only is it objective, based as it is on true research findings,
but actually able to point the way to an arrangement whre the
child will have access to the very "best" each parent has to
The validation process has been going on
for more than 25 years; several hundred cases have been studied
in various ways. Many are described in the manual.
1. The agreement rate
between the questionnaire which elicited unconscious material
and BPS designations was 87 percent. The rate for the questionnaire
or interview material which elicited conscious choices was 70
percent. The parent interviews agreed with BPS scored as follows:
76 percent agreement for Mothers, 88 percent agreement for Fathers
2. Two independent
mental health professionals who had no knowledge of the BPS
scores studied between 2 and 7 years of clinical and life
history data for a group of children, and each independently
arrived at an opinion as to who, mother or father, would make
the optimal PCP. Leaving aside one case on which the professionals
disagreed with each other, there was 100 percent agreement
between the remaining cases and the BPS designations. Further,
the BPS scores showed that the magnitude of the BPS score
was highly related to the expressed certainty that a particular
parent was indeed "best" in the eyes of the professionals.
Details are given in the manual.
3. BPS designations
achieved a very satisfying 94 percent agreement rate with
judges' choices in courtroom settings (29 cases in the original
phase of the research; this number has stayed near 90 percent
on several hundred more cases since then).
4. Twenty-seven (27)
respondents, current BPS users, offered data on 141 cases
(during the late months of 1987 and early 1988). One question
asked about the agreement rate between the parent selected
by the BPS as better able to be the PCP and the choice arrived
at by a judge in a formal hearing. The agreement rate reported
was 89 percent. Another question asked the agreement rate
between the choice arrived at by the psychologists' interpretations
of the other psychological tests and the BPS. The rate was
again 89 percent. The agreement rate between BPS choices and
the psychologists' interpretations of clincal/life history
data was 91 percent. The final question asked about the agreement
rate between the PCP selected by the BPS and the psychologists'
choices as arrived at based on all information available
(tests, clincial and/or life history data plus any other data).
The agreement rate was 97 percent.
[Report ONE] [Report TWO]
COMPUTER SCORING PROFILE
(unlimited use) (BPS-CSP) VP101-CSP. 7 page visual interpretation
with graphs, pie charts, etc. Saves, retrieves, prints. For Windows.
BPS Comprehensive Starting Kit
BPS Response Cards
- Revised BPS Test
- Response Cards (64
cards per set)
- Scoring Summaries
- Placement dots
- Test box with foam
- Author Contact Number
- Three years Update
(Includes Response Cards, Scoring Summaries, extra foam insert,
extra pen, Updates.)
publication in 1983 the BPS has become the premier custody evaluation
test in use today. It has been administered more than 150,000
times--used in all 50 states--and accepted and relied upon by
courts throughout the United States.