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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2001 Aug;69(4):699-702.

Advances in empirically based assessment: revised cross-informant syndromes and new DSM-oriented scales for the CBCL, YSR, and TRF: comment on Lengua, Sadowksi, Friedrich, and Fischer (2001).

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Burlington 05401-3456, USA. thomas.achenbach@uvm.edu


L. Lengua et al. (2001) proposed scoring the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; T. Achenbach, 1991b) on dimensions that "correspond to current conceptualizations of child symptomatology," (p. 695) embodied in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; 4th ed., American Psychiatric Association, 1994). They concluded that their "results support the use of the new dimensions." Yet, their regressions and diagnostic efficiency statistics showed that DSM diagnoses were predicted less well by their dimensions than by CBCL syndromes that reflect actual patterns of problems. Not only these findings, but also the high correlations of their dimensions with CBCL syndromes and the lack of norms and validated clinical cutoffs for their dimensions, argue against use of their dimensions. To advance assessment and taxonomy, new national samples have been used to construct DSM-oriented scales and to revise cross-informant syndromes.

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