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The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for preschool childrena Swedish validation
Linköping University, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN). Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Högland Hospital, Sweden; Jönköping University, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Hospital Jönköping, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, ISSN 0803-9488, E-ISSN 1502-4725, Vol. 70, no 8, p. 567-574Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: In Sweden, 80-90% of children aged 1-5 years attend preschool, and that environment is well suited to identify behaviours that may be signs of mental health problems. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a well-known short and structured instrument measuring child behaviours that indicate mental health problems well suited for preschool use.Aim: To investigate whether SDQ is a reliable and valid instrument for identifying behavioural problems in children aged 1-3 years and 4-5 years in a Swedish population, as rated by preschool teachers.Methods: Preschools situated in different sized municipalities in Sweden participated. The preschool teacher rated each individual child. Concurrent validity was tested using the Child-Teacher Report Form (C-TRF) and Child Engagement Questionnaire (CEQ). Exploratory factor analysis was conducted for age groups, 1-3 years and 4-5 years.Results: The preschool teachers considered most of the SDQ items relevant and possible to rate. For the children aged 1-3 years, the subscales Hyperactivity (Cronbach alpha=0.84, split half=0.73) and Conduct (Cronbach alpha=0.76, split half=0.80) were considered to be valid. For the age group 4-5 years, the whole original SDQ scale, 4-factor solution was used and showed reasonable validity (Cronbach alpha=0.83, split half=0.87).Conclusion: SDQ can be used in a preschool setting by preschool teachers as a valid instrument for identifying externalizing behavioural problems (hyperactivity and conduct problems) in young children.Clinical implications: SDQ could be used to identify preschool children at high-risk for mental health problems later in life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2016. Vol. 70, no 8, p. 567-574
Keywords [en]
Mental health; preschool children; psychometrics; screening; strengths and difficulties questionnaire
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132330DOI: 10.1080/08039488.2016.1184309ISI: 000384530700003PubMedID: 27241951OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-132330DiVA, id: diva2:1046212
Note

Funding Agencies|National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen)

Available from: 2016-11-12 Created: 2016-11-01 Last updated: 2018-12-20
In thesis
1. Identifying Patterns of Emotional and Behavioural Problems in Preschool children: Facilitating Early Detection
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identifying Patterns of Emotional and Behavioural Problems in Preschool children: Facilitating Early Detection
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Mental health problems often debut in early childhood and may last throughout adulthood, thereby making early detection and intervention especially important. The overarching aim of the present thesis was to identify patterns of emotional and behavioural problems indicating mental health problems in preschool children. To facilitate the detection of such problems early on, one available screening instrument Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), was validated. The development and interaction of externalising problems in preschool children were studied over time. Functioning and behaviour and their relations to protective and risk indicators in both environmental and personal characteristics were explored. The long-term goal was to increase knowledge about early identification of emotional and behavioural problems in preschool children in order to facilitate early intervention.

In Study I (n=690), the subscales Hyperactivity and Conduct Problems were shown to be valid for children in the age group 1–3 years. A reasonable level of validity was found for the age group 4–5 years when using the original SDQ four-factor solution. The preschool teachers considered most of the SDQ items relevant and possible to rate. Based on the results of Study II (n=815), a score of ≥12 on the SDQ Total Problems Scale is recommended as a cut-off for Swedish preschool children. There were significant differences between boys and girls on all subscales except for the Emotional subscale. The Swedish norms for SDQ are to a large extent similar to findings from other European countries. Study III (n=195) showed that preschool children’s conduct problems decrease over time. Children exhibiting more initial hyperactivity (at year 1) have less reduction in conduct problems over time, i.e. the more hyperactivity early in life, the more conduct problems at year 3. In Study IV (n=197), children high in engagement and social interaction function well over time, even in the presence of hyperactivity, while children with low engagement and interaction alone or in combination with hyperactivity and conduct problems continue to have problems. Stability was related to the existence of a larger number of protective or risk indicators respectively.

Taken together, this thesis has shown that the SDQ can be used to identify preschool children at risk of developing mental health problems later in life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018. p. 126
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1655
National Category
Pediatrics Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-153581 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-153581 (DOI)9789176851647 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-01-11, Belladonnasalen, Campus US, Linköping, 13:00
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Supervisors
Note

Korrigeringar är gjorda i den elektroniska versionen utifrån publicerad erratalistaThe corrections in the published errata list are implemented in the electronic version.

Available from: 2018-12-20 Created: 2018-12-20 Last updated: 2019-09-30Bibliographically approved

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Gustafsson, PerProczkowska, Marie
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Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN)Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDivision of Clinical SciencesDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping
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