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The factor structure of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire
journal contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by David MellorDavid Mellor, Mark StokesMark Stokes
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) has been widely adopted as a measure of child and adolescent mental health and behavioral problems. However, despite an impressive number of studies demonstrating its psychometric properties, appropriate analyses of the instrument's underlying structure have not been reported. We conducted confirmatory factor analyses on matched data obtained from a large community sample of 7-17-year-olds, their parents, and their teachers. The analyses indicated that the reputed factor structure was not supported, with none of the subscales being unidimensional. Further, each informant group appeared to respond differently to the questionnaire. Considering the findings in relation to the stringency of the tests used to evaluate the SDQ, its utility, and previous research on its clinical validity, it is suggested that the SDQ be used with caution and in conjunction with other forms of assessment.