Screening for DSM-IV externalizing disorders with the Child Behavior Checklist: a receiver-operating characteristic analysis

Authors


James Hudziak, University of Vermont, Given Building, Room B229, Burlington, VT 05405. Email: james.hudziak@zoo.uvm.edu

Abstract

Background:  This study examines the diagnostic accuracy of the CBCL syndrome AS scales for predicting DSM-IV Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder with or without Conduct Disorder (ODD/CD).

Methods:  The sample included 370 children (187 probands and 183 siblings) participating in a family genetic study of attention and aggressive behavior problems. Univariate and stepwise logistic regression analyses were used to derive models for predicting two diagnostic conditions: ADHD and ODD/CD.

Results:  The Attention Problems syndrome significantly predicted ADHD, and ODD/CD was significantly predicted by the Aggressive Behavior syndrome. Both scales demonstrated good diagnostic accuracy, as assessed through receiver operating characteristics analyses. Cut-point analyses confirmed the utility of low T-scores, 55 on the respective syndromes, for efficiently discriminating cases from noncases.

Conclusions:  CBCL syndromes display good diagnostic efficiency for assessing common externalizing disorders in children.

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