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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2010 Aug;78(4):526-36. doi: 10.1037/a0019602.

Evaluation of the Brief Problem Checklist: child and caregiver interviews to measure clinical progress.

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Department of Psychology, University of California-Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.



To support ongoing monitoring of child response during treatment, we sought to develop a brief, easily administered, clinically relevant, and psychometrically sound measure.


We first developed child and caregiver forms of a 12-item Brief Problem Checklist (BPC) interview by applying item response theory and factor analysis to Youth Self-Report (YSR; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL;Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) data for a sample of 2,332 youths. These interviews were then administered weekly via telephone to an ethnically diverse clinical sample of 184 boys and girls 7-13 years of age and their caregivers participating in outpatient treatment, to examine psychometric properties and feasibility.


Internal consistency and test-retest reliability were excellent, and factor analysis yielded 1 internalizing and 1 externalizing factor. Validity tests showed large and significant correlations with corresponding scales on paper-and-pencil administrations of the CBCL and YSR as well as with diagnoses obtained from a structured diagnostic interview. Discriminant validity of the BPC interviews was supported by low correlations with divergent criteria. Longitudinal data for the initial 6 months of treatment demonstrated that the BPC significantly predicted change on related measures of child symptoms. Estimates obtained from random coefficient growth models showed generally higher slope reliabilities for the BPC given weekly relative to the CBCL and YSR given every 3 months.


Given their combination of brevity and psychometric strength, the child and caregiver BPC interviews appear to be a promising strategy for efficient, ongoing assessment of clinical progress during the course of treatment.

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