Objective: The General Behavior Inventory (GBI) is a questionnaire that has utility in the assessment of mood disorders in adults. The purpose of this study was to examine how the GBI might optimally be used in the assessment of youths.
Method: Children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 17 years participated in this study. All youths were evaluated with the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children (K-SADS). Based on the K-SADS results, subjects were then assigned to one of four groups: a bipolar spectrum group, a depressive disorders group, a disruptive behaviors disorders group, and a no diagnosis group. Guardians completed a version of the GBI modified for parent reporting. Patients 10 years old or greater also completed the GBI as a self-report measure.
Results: There were 196 subjects who participated. Both parent report and youth self-report assigned patients to the appropriate diagnostic group with better than 74% accuracy. Combining information from multiple informants did not significantly improve diagnostic group assignment.
Conclusions: These data suggest that the GBI may be a useful adjunct in the diagnosis of mood disorders in youths, particularly when diagnostic specificity is more important than sensitivity.