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Acad Pediatr. 2013 Jan-Feb;13(1):72-80. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

The baby pediatric symptom checklist: development and initial validation of a new social/emotional screening instrument for very young children.

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Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA.



To develop and validate the Baby Pediatric Symptom Checklist (BPSC), a brief social/emotional screening instrument for children less than 18 months. The BPSC is modeled after the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC) and is part of the Survey of Wellbeing of Young Children, a comprehensive, freely available screening instrument designed for use in pediatric primary care.


BPSC items were developed by a team of experts who reviewed existing assessment instruments and relevant research literature. Scale construction and initial validation were conducted with 205 families from pediatric primary care sites and 54 families from referral clinics. A replication sample of 146 additional families were enrolled from an independent set of primary care practices.


Exploratory factor analysis revealed 3 dimensions of the BPSC: irritability, inflexibility, and difficulty with routines. Factor structure was confirmed in the replication sample. Retest reliability and internal reliability were adequate (intraclass correlation coefficient >0.70) across subscales, with the exception of the "irritability" subscale's internal reliability in the replication sample. Construct validity of the "irritability" and the "difficulty with routines" subscales is supported by correlations with the Parenting Stress Index and the Ages & Stages Questionnaire: Social/Emotional, but the "inflexibility" subscale seems to be distinct from performance on these instruments. Tests of differential item functioning revealed no significant effects for race/ethnicity, child gender, parent education, or family income. Age-based normative data were calculated for each subscale.


The BPSC assesses 3 domains of behavior for very young children and shows promise as a social/emotional screening instrument for pediatric primary care.

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