Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a single page questionnaire that asks about 25 attributes of the child based on a 3-point Likert scale which can be completed by a parent or teacher when the child is between 3 to 16 years old and adolescents (11-16 year olds) can complete the questionnaire as well (Goodman, 2001). The 25 attributes are evenly divided into five scales: emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity-inattentive, peer problems, and prosocial behavior. The SDQ can be used in research and as a screening tool by clinical practitioners (Goodman et al., 2000). In measuring the mother’s completion of the SDQ and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) in England, the SDQ was found to be highly correlated with the CBCL, and is more accurate than the CBCL when combined with qualitative research, such as semi-structured interviews (Goodman & Scott, 1999). Similar results were found in a German study, where they found that the CBCL and SDQ are highly correlated as well (Klasen et al., 2000). The SDQ also has validity when adolescents fill out the questionnaire (Goodman, Meltzer, & Bailey, 1998). Goodman, Meltzer, and Bailey sampled 83 adolescents from the community and 116 adolescents from a mental health clinic, finding that those in the mental health clinic were six times more likely to have a score in the abnormal range. Additionally the adolescent’s scores correlated well with the parent’s and teacher’s scores. Similar results were found in a Holland study on both the adolescents scores correlating well with parent’s and teacher’s scores and on the SDQ correlating well with the CBCL (van Widenfelt et al., 2003) The SDQ is easy to get ahold of since it is online at in over 40 languages (Goodman, 2001), and has been tested and validated in several countries like Australia (Hawes & Dadds, 2004), the United States (Bourdon et al., 2005), and Sweden (Smedje, et al., 1998).


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