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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-6524

Achenbach, T M; Becker, A; Döpfner, M; Heiervang, E; Roessner, V; Steinhausen, H C; Rothenberger, A (2008). Multicultural assessment of child and adolescent psychopathology with ASEBA and SDQ instruments: research findings, applications, and future directions. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(3):251-275.

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Around the world, cultural blending and conflict pose challenges for assessment and understanding of psychopathology. Economical, evidence-based, culturally robust assessment is needed for research, for answering public health questions, and for evaluating immigrant, refugee, and minority children. This article applies multicultural perspectives to behavioral, emotional, and social problems assessed on dimensions describing children's functioning, as rated by parents, teachers, children, and others. The development of Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) forms and their applications to multicultural research are presented. A primary aim of both questionnaires is to identify children at high risk of psychiatric disorders and who therefore warrant further assessment. The forms are self-administered or administered by lay interviewers. ASEBA problem items are scored on 6 DSM-oriented scales and 3 broader band scales, plus 8 syndromes derived statistically as taxonomic constructs and supported by uniform confirmatory factor analyses of samples from many populations. Comparisons of ASEBA scale scores, psychometrics, and correlates are available for diverse populations. SDQ forms are scored on one broad-band scale and 5 a priori behavioral dimensions supported by data from various populations. For both instruments, factor analyses, psychometrics, and correlates are available for diverse populations. The willingness and ability of hundreds of thousands of respondents from diverse groups to complete ASEBA and SDQ forms support this approach to multicultural assessment. Although particular items and scales may have differential relevance among groups and additional assessment procedures are needed, comparable results are found in many populations. Scale scores vary more within than between populations, and distributions of scores overlap greatly among different populations. Ratings of children's problems thus indicate more heterogeneity within populations than distinctiveness between populations. Norms from multiple populations can be used to compare children's scores with relevant peer groups. Multicultural dimensional research can advance knowledge by diversifying normative data; by comparing immigrant children with nonimmigrant compatriots and with host country children; by identifying outlier findings for elucidation by emic research; and by fostering efforts to dimensionalize DSM-V diagnostic criteria.


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188 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:March 2008
Deposited On:02 Dec 2008 08:46
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:37
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01867.x
PubMed ID:18333930

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