European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 15, Supplement 1, pp i56–i62 | Cite as

Psychopathological screening of children with ADHD: Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in a pan-European study

  • Andreas Becker
  • Hans-Christoph Steinhausen
  • Gisli Baldursson
  • Sören Dalsgaard
  • Maria J. Lorenzo
  • Stephen J. Ralston**
  • Manfred Döpfner
  • Aribert RothenbergerEmail author
  • ADORE Study Group*



To examine the psychometric properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) parent version and to determine the effects of age, gender, country and investigator type (paediatrician, child psychiatrist, other physician) on the SDQ scores in the prospective, non-interventional ADORE study.


The SDQ was completed for 1,459 children with ADHD (aged 6–18 years) in 10 European countries.


Factor analysis provided an exact replication of the original 5-factor SDQ subscale structure. All subscales were sufficiently homogeneous. The mean total difficulties and SDQ subscale scores of the ADORE sample clearly differed from UK normative data. Younger children were more impaired on different SDQ scales than older children, and girls were more emotionally affected than boys. Differences between countries were found for each SDQ scale, but the investigator type had no significant effect. Correlation coefficients between SDQ scales and other scales used in ADORE ranged from low (r<0.30) to high (r>0.50).


The present study confirmed the validity and reliability of the parent-reported SDQ scale structure and showed that the scale scores are dependent on age and gender. In contrast to investigator type, different cultures had a significant effect on SDQ scores. Correlations with other scales used in the ADORE study underline both separate domains and meaningful associations.

Key words

ADHD ADORE children SDQ cross-cultural comparison 



Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder Observational Research in Europe


ADHD Rating Scale-IV


Child Health and Illness Profile – Child Edition


Children's Global Assessment Scale


Clinical Global Impression – Severity scale


Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Becker
    • 2
  • Hans-Christoph Steinhausen
    • 3
  • Gisli Baldursson
    • 4
  • Sören Dalsgaard
    • 5
  • Maria J. Lorenzo
    • 6
  • Stephen J. Ralston**
  • Manfred Döpfner
    • 7
  • Aribert Rothenberger
    • 1
    Email author
  • ADORE Study Group*
  1. 1.University of Göttingen, Dept. of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Dept. of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.Dept. of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Dept. of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of ReykjavíkReykjavíkIceland
  5. 5.Dept. of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of AarhusAarhusDenmark
  6. 6.Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Research CentreWindlesham, SurreyUK
  7. 7.Dept. of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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