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Crim Behav Ment Health. 2012 Feb;22(1):41-52. doi: 10.1002/cbm.825. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

The best interest of the child-questionnaire, reliability and validity: preliminary data on the question 'where to live after detention or secure treatment?'.

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  • 1Special Needs Education and Child Care, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands. m.e.kalverboer@rug.nl



The Best Interest of the Child-Questionnaire (BIC-Q) has been designed as an instrument for screening the quality of the rearing situation of children with behavioural problems or delinquency. It is intended to aid legal decisions in juvenile and family law.


The aim of the study was to establish the reliability and validation of the BIC-Q.


Records of 83 children in detention or secure treatment centres and 58 children with no delinquent behaviours were rated by trained researchers. Interrater reliability was tested with a sub-sample of 31 of the former. Content validity was evaluated across the whole group, using Cronbach's alpha to check internal consistency, Spearman's rho to examine correlations and explorative principal component analysis (PCA) to test the extent to which variance in the 14 underlying conditions could be accounted for by a single factor 'quality of rearing'.


Interrater reliability was good (r = 0.89). The PCA lent support to the content validity of the questionnaire with four factors, which together explained 66% of the variance in child rearing: (1) attachment and bonding; (2) rules and provisions; (3) health care and physical care in the family context; and (4) care and models provided for in the societal environment.


The BIC-Q is a reliable and valid measure of the overall quality of child rearing.


Preliminary results indicate that the BIC-Q may be applied to support court decisions on where the child should live after detention or secure treatment.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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