The validation of the self-report Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire for use by 6- to 10-year-old children in the UK
Article first published online: 27 JUN 2013
© 2013 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 53, Issue 1, pages 131–137, March 2014
How to Cite
Curvis, W., McNulty, S. and Qualter, P. (2014), The validation of the self-report Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire for use by 6- to 10-year-old children in the UK. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53: 131–137. doi: 10.1111/bjc.12025
- Issue published online: 21 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 27 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 7 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 23 MAY 2012
- East Lancashire NHS Trust
- East Lancashire and Trafford Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
- Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire;
- factor structure
To examine the factor structure of the self-report Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for data from a sample of British children aged 6–10 years.
The self-report SDQ was administered to 900 children aged 6–10 years via interviews with trained counsellors.
Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses showed that a two-factor solution comprising ‘externalizing and peer problems’ and ‘internalizing problems’ fit the data well for both the 6- to 7- and 8- to 10-year-old samples. The factors were correlated in both samples.
Children between 6 and 10 years of age provided meaningful SDQ data. The identified two-factor model maps broadly onto the constructs of externalizing and internalizing behaviour.
- The findings suggest that children in the United Kingdom younger than 11 years of age are able to complete the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), providing practitioners with a picture of a child's insight and understanding of their problems.
- The findings show that, with children aged 6–10 years, the self-report SDQ provides information about two factors that map broadly onto the constructs of externalizing and internalizing behaviour.
- This study is the first in the United Kingdom to examine the self-report SDQ in young children, adding weight to an emerging literature base.
- To support understanding in very young children, the self-report SDQ should to be delivered via interview, so that self-descriptions are appropriate to the child's developmental level.