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Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 167–201 | Cite as

Ethnic Differences Using Behavior Rating Scales to Assess the Mental Health of Children: A Conceptual and Psychometric Critique

  • Edgar H. TysonEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article reviews the literature on using behavior-rating scales to assess the mental health of children from different ethnic groups in the United States. Particular emphasis is placed on children referred to child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Differences between categorical and dimensional classification, as well as broadband versus narrowband classification approaches are discussed. Sources of potential bias and the best available methods used to assess ethnic group differences in ratings scales are presented. Finally, the extent to which behavior rating scales have been examined for measurement equivalence is critiqued and directions for future research are forward.

behavior-rating scales child mental health measurement equivalence cross-ethnic validity 

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© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkFlorida State UniversityTallahassee

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