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Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2008 Aug 15;2(1):23. doi: 10.1186/1753-2000-2-23.

Chinese translation of strengths and difficulties questionnaire requires urgent review before field trials for validity and reliability.

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  • 1Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. thtoh@yahoo.com


Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a brief behavioural screening questionnaire for children and teenagers aged 3 to 16 years. It is available in 66 languages, and gaining more popularity world wide. Chinese translation of SDQ is available and has been used in clinical practice and research. We undertook the exercise to back-translate the current Chinese translation and it showed a number of differences compared to the original English SDQ. The differences and concerns include: (1) the flow and grammar of Chinese translation as well as wrongly written Chinese characters; (2) translated words that have deviated from the original meaning; (3) significant numbers of wording that are somewhat different from the original English version; (4) addition of auxiliary verbs that do not exist in original English version; and (5) the current Chinese SDQ is a general questionnaire for all age groups that does not observe the differences of wording that exist in the English versions.


An accurate translated Chinese version is important for researchers, clinicians and educators who work in the Chinese communities. There is an urgent need to review the translation of the Chinese SDQ version before more studies use it in the field.

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