How reliable and valid is the teacher version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in primary school children?

Meta van den Heuvel*, Danielle E. M. C. Jansen, Roy E. Stewart, Bouwien C. M. Smits-Engelsman, Sijmen A. Reijneveld, Boudien C. T. Flapper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is validated for parents, but not yet for teachers in a broad age range of children. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 4-10 years old school children to investigate if the SDQ-T can be used instead of the validated but lengthy Teacher's Report Form (TRF) to acquire information about emotional and behavioral problems in the school community.

Methods

Teachers of 453 children from primary schools were approached. Teachers of 394 children (response rate 86.9%) with a mean age of 7.1 years filled in the SDQ-T (n = 387), the TRF (n = 349) or both (n = 342). We assessed reliability by calculating internal consistency and concurrent validity (using correlation coefficients, sensitivity, specificity) of the SDQ-T compared with the TRF.

Results

Internal consistency of the SDQ-T Total Difficulties Score (SDQ-T TDS; Cronbach alpha = 0.80), hyperactivity/inattention-(alpha = 0.86) and prosocial behavior (alpha = 0.81) was very good. Concurrent validity demonstrated a strong correlation of all subscales of the SDQ-T with the corresponding scale on the TRF (range 0.54-0.73), except for peer problems (0.46). Using a SDQ-T TDS cut-off score > 14, the SDQ-T had a good sensitivity (90%) and specificity (94%).

Discussion

The good reliability, validity and brevity of the SDQ-T make it an easily applicable questionnaire for obtaining information about emotional and behavioral problems from teachers in primary school children.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0176605
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28-Apr-2017

Keywords

  • ADOLESCENT MENTAL-HEALTH
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • COMMUNITY SAMPLE
  • SDQ
  • RELIABILITY
  • DISORDERS
  • DIAGNOSES

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