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A DSM-IV-referenced screening instrument for preschool children: the Early Childhood Inventory-4.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 11794-8790, USA.



To examine the validity of the Early Childhood Inventory-4 (ECI-4), a parent and teacher rating scale designed to screen for DSM-IV emotional and behavioral disorders.


The convergent, divergent, and discriminant validity and clinical utility of the ECI-4 was studied in a sample of 224 consecutive referrals (3-6-year-old children) to a child psychiatric outpatient clinic.


The ECI-4 demonstrated adequate criterion validity for the most common disorders (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, pervasive developmental disorder) when compared with data-based psychiatric diagnoses and correlated well with relevant scales of the Child Behavior Checklist, Teacher's Report Form, and Inattention/Overactivity With Aggression (IOWA) Conners.


The ECI-4 appears to be a useful screening measure for certain disorders in clinically referred children, but continued research is needed to determine its value in other settings (e.g., school and community), and its validity with other measurement methodologies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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