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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1999 Dec;38(12):1580-90.

The MacArthur Three-City Outcome Study: evaluating multi-informant measures of young children's symptomatology.

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1
Stanford University Medical Center, CA, USA. jcablow@oregon.uoregon.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Three sites collaborated to evaluate the reliability and validity of 2 measures, developed in tandem to assess symptomatology and impairment in 4- to 8-year-old children: the Berkeley Puppet Interview Symptomatology Scales (BPI-S) and the Health and Behavior Questionnaire (HBQ).

METHOD:

In this case-control study, mothers, teachers, and children reported on multiple dimensions of children's mental health for 120 children (67 community and 53 clinic-referred children).

RESULTS:

The BPI-S and the parent and teacher versions of the HBQ demonstrated strong test-retest reliability and discriminant validity on a majority of symptom scales. Medium to strong effect sizes (Cohen d) indicated that children in the clinic-referred group were viewed by all 3 informants as experiencing significantly higher levels of symptomatology than nonreferred, community children.

CONCLUSION:

The availability of a set of multi-informant instruments that are psychometrically sound, developed in tandem, and developmentally appropriate for young children will enhance researchers' ability to investigate and understand symptomatology or the emergence of symptomatology in middle childhood.

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