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Effective Mental Health Screening in Adolescents: Should we collect data from youth, parents or both?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Christine Kuhn, Marcel Aebi, Helle Jakobsen, Tobias Banaschewski, Luise Poustka, Yvonne Grimmer, Robert Nicholas Goodman, Hans-Christoph Steinhausen

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jun 2016


King's Authors


Youth- and parent-rated screening measures derived from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) were compared on their psychometric properties as predictors of caseness in adolescence (mean age 14). Successful screening was judged firstly against the likelihood of having an ICD-10 psychiatric diagnosis and secondly by the ability to discriminate between community (N=252) and clinical (N=86) samples (“sample status”). Both, SDQ and DAWBA measures adequately predicted the presence of an ICD-10 disorder as well as sample status. The hypothesis that there was an informant gradient was confirmed: youth self-reports were less discriminating than parent reports, whereas combined parent and youth reports were more discriminating - a finding replicated across a diversity of measures. When practical constraints only permit screening for caseness using either a parent or an adolescent informant, parents are the better source of information.

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