Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 17–24

Comparing the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Child Behavior Checklist: Is Small Beautiful?

  • Robert Goodman
  • Stephen Scott

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022658222914

Cite this article as:
Goodman, R. & Scott, S. J Abnorm Child Psychol (1999) 27: 17. doi:10.1023/A:1022658222914


The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a brief behavioral screening questionnaire that can be completed in 5 minutes by the parents or teachers of children aged 4 to 16; there is a self-report version for 11- to 16-year-olds. In this study, mothers completed the SDQ and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) on 132 children aged 4 through 7 and drawn from psychiatric and dental clinics. Scores from the SDQ and CBCL were highly correlated and equally able to discriminate psychiatric from dental cases. As judged against a semistructured interview, the SDQ was significantly better than the CBCL at detecting inattention and hyperactivity, and at least as good at detecting internalizing and externalizing problems. Mothers of low-risk children were twice as likely to prefer the SDQ.

Child psychopathologyprosocial behaviorquestionnairesvalidityacceptability

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Goodman
    • 1
  • Stephen Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryInstitute of PsychiatryLondonUnited Kingdom