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An Analysis of the Child Behavior Checklist Anxiety Problems Scale’s Predictive Capabilities

  • Mark J. KnepleyEmail author
  • Philip C. KendallEmail author
  • Matthew M. Carper
Article

Abstract

The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is widely used to assess behavioral and emotional problems in youth. The CBCL Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-Oriented Anxiety Problems subscale (CBCL-AP) was developed for the identification of DSM-IV anxiety disorders. Using data from 298 youth aged 6- to 18, the CBCL-AP scale was examined to determine its ability to differentially predict, via Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) analysis, the presence of (a) generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), (b) separation anxiety disorder (SAD), (c) specific phobia (SPPH), or (d) the presence of any of these disorders. Independent Evaluators (IEs) administered the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children (ADIS-C/P) to determine the presence of an anxiety disorder. The ability of the CBCL-AP to predict to anxiety disorders was compared to the ability of the CBCL Anxious/Depressed (CBCL-A/D) scale and the seven empirically derived CBCL syndrome subscales and five DSM-Oriented subscales to predict anxiety disorder diagnoses. Results revealed that CBCL-AP scores significantly predicted all diagnoses. CBCL-A/D scores significantly predicted SAD (AUC = 0.67), GAD (AUC = 0.69), and the presence of any of the three disorders (AUC = 0.72), but not the presence of SPPH (AUC = 0.52). Although the CBCL-AP scale may not be a substitute for extensive diagnostics, it has demonstrated utility as an instrument for assessing anxiety and can serve to identify anxious youth in need of mental health services.

Keywords

Child anxiety Adolescent anxiety Anxiety treatment Anxiety 

Notes

Funding

The preparation of this manuscript was facilitated by support from the National Institute of Health (Child Health and Human Development) grant (R01HD080097) to Philip C. Kendall.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

M. J. Knepley, P. C. Kendall, and M. M. Carper declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Experiment Participants

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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