Psychometric properties of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ).

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Objective: To describe the psychometric properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), a brief measure of the prosocial behavior and psychopathology of 3-16-year-olds that can be completed by parents, teachers, or youths. Method: A nationwide epidemiological sample of 10,438 British 5-15-year-olds obtained SDQs from 96% of parents, 70% of teachers, and 91% of 11-15-year-olds. Blind to the SDQ findings, all subjects were also assigned DSM-IV diagnoses based on a clinical review of detailed interview measures. Results: The predicted five-factor structure (emotional, conduct, hyperactivity-inattention, peer, prosocial) was confirmed. Internalizing and externalizing scales were relatively "uncontaminated" by one another. Reliability was generally satisfactory, whether judged by internal consistency (mean Cronbach alpha: .73), cross-informant correlation (mean: 0.34), or retest stability after 4 to 6 months (mean: 0.62). SDQ scores above the 90th percentile predicted a substantially raised probability of independently diagnosed psychiatric disorders (mean odds ratio: 15.7 for parent scales, 15.2 for teacher scales, 6.2 for youth scales). Conclusion: The reliability and validity of the SDQ make It a useful brief measure of the adjustment and psychopathology of children and adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337 - 1345
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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