Screening for disruptive behavior in adolescents at risk using the strengths and difficulties questionnaire

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Disruptive behavior in adolescents is burdensome and may continue into adulthood if left unidentified. The strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) can screen for disruptive behavior, but its psychometric properties in high-risk samples and ability to predict delinquency warrant further investigation. In 1022 adolescents, we investigated the predictive validity (on average 1.9 years after screening) of the self-reported SDQ on disruptive behavior disorders and delinquency, measured with multi-informant questionnaires and structured interviews. We compared three scoring methods: total, subscale, and dysregulation profile scoring. In this high-risk sample, SDQ subscale scores predicted disruptive behavior outcomes best. Predictive values for the specific types of delinquency were small. Concluding, the SDQ can be used in high-risk settings for early identification of youth with disruptive behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1097
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number4
Early online date16 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The iBerry study is funded by the Erasmus University Medical Center and the following mental healthcare institutes: Parnassia Psychiatric Institute Antes, GGz Breburg, GGz Delfland, GGz Westelijk Noord‐Brabant, and Yulius. All funding organizations participate in the Epidemiological and Social Psychiatric Research Institute (ESPRi), a consortium of academic and nonacademic research groups.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Research on Adolescence published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Research on Adolescence.


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