Psychometric properties of the Angolan version of the Reflective Functioning Questionnaire – 8 (RFQ-8): An exploratory study

Karina Martins, Luís Benedito, Carlos Farate, Fernanda Daniel, Henrique Testa Vicente


Abstract: The Reflective Functioning Questionnaire (RFQ-8) is a brief self-report psychometric instrument designed to assess an individual’s reflective functioning abilities. This study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the Angolan version of the RFQ-8, namely, to assess its factor structure and to examine its correlations with related constructs and clinical variables in a sample of the general population of Angola.

A cross-sectional study was conducted with 132 participants (aged ≥18 years) with Angolan residency and nationality, recruited through non-probability, convenience and snowball sampling procedures. The online research protocol included a Portuguese translation of the RFQ-8 and a battery of self- report measures (Brief Symptom Inventory; Adult Attachment Scale – Revised; Beck Cognitive Insight Scale).

Consistent with previous research, results supported a two-factor structure for the RFQ-8 (assessing certainty and uncertainty about mental states; RFQc and RFQu subscales) with satisfactory internal consistency. RFQ-8 scores also showed significant correlations to psychopathological symptoms, suggesting a close relation between uncertainty about mental states and clinical problems, consistent with the mentalization framework; statistically significant relationships with different attachment patterns that support mentalization’s developmental schema; significant correlations with cognitive insight, a construct closely related to reflective functioning. Even though the RFQ-8 was designed to assess two impairments in reflective functioning (hypermentalization and hypomentalization), it seems that only hypomentalization is adequately addressed by this instrument. Further research is thus needed to analyze the probable unidimensionality of the RFQ-8 and the viability of different scoring procedures.

In conclusion, this study offers preliminary evidence on the reliability and validity of the Angolan version of this scale. Besides its usefulness in clinical assessment, it could also contribute to developing research on mentalization and the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions, including patients’ responses to mentalization-based treatments.


Mentalization, Reflective functioning questionnaire, Psychometric properties, Factor structure.

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