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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1992 Nov;31(6):1105-11.

Screening for psychosocial dysfunction in inner-city children: further validation of the Pediatric Symptom checklist.

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Child Psychiatry Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


A sample of 123 6- to 12-year-old outpatients at an inner-city pediatric clinic was screened for psychosocial dysfunction using the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC), a brief parent-completed questionnaire. The prevalence of positive screening scores on the PSC was 22%, significantly higher than the rate found in lower middle to upper middle-class samples. Comparing PSC case classifications with comprehensive assessments made by clinicians, overall agreement was 92% (kappa = 0.82; sensitivity = 88%; specificity = 100%); a comparison with several other measures provided additional support for the validity of the PSC. The PSC's reliability over time was also acceptable. These findings provide preliminary evidence that the PSC is as valid and reliable for screening children from economically disadvantaged and minority backgrounds as it is for middle and upper middle-class populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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