Assessing childhood difficulties: Comparing the SDQ and the BASC-2

Karen B Van Slyke, The University of Texas School of Public Health


This study of the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2), had two objectives. First, was to compare the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the BASC-2. Participants were students from SBISD, identified as having difficulties, assessed with the BASC-2 and completed the SDQ. Based on the small sample (N=8), scores from the SDQ and the BASC-2 were found to correlate highly with one another on most conceptually similar scales. With both Parent and Teacher raters, diagnostic concordance was high for nearly all behavior and emotional problem scales. While the diagnostic concordance of the SDQ and BASC-2 looks promising, results need to be replicated with a larger sample. The second objective was to assess the BASC-2 inter-informant concordance (parent, teacher and child). Participants were 145 students, 3-17 years, 78.6% male, 28% Hispanic, 37% White, 34% Black, and 64% were economically disadvantaged. Of the four dyads, teacher-teacher pairs had the highest correlations and agreement levels, especially on externalizing scale items, regardless of the subjects' age group, gender or ethnicity. Overall, parent-teacher pairs had low to moderate concordance for most scale items, with slightly higher agreement for externalizing problems, with better concordance for preschool children, very low correlations with girls' ratings, but moderate correlations with boy ratings. Correlational results were generally moderate for teachers and parents of White children and low for teachers and parents of Hispanic and Black children. Parent-child self-reports had low concordance for nearly all scale items evaluated, particularly with girl self-raters, but moderate with the boys. Conversely, Teacher-Girl pairs had larger correlations than with Boy. Parents reported substantially higher frequency of disorder endorsement than reported by the children, regardless of the child's ethnicity or gender. While generally low, Teachers and Black students had higher concordance on internalizing measures than Hispanic or White students. Parents of Black students had higher frequency of disorder endorsements than other ethnicities. The difference in format and lack of externalizing measures on the self-report version (SRP) hinders inter-rater comparisons. Future studies using the revised, BASC-2 with children in a school-based setting are needed to assess further its rater reliability.

Subject Area

Mental health|Public health

Recommended Citation

Van Slyke, Karen B, "Assessing childhood difficulties: Comparing the SDQ and the BASC-2" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3290039.