To describe the development and psychometric properties of the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Emotional Behavioural Scales (OCHS-EBS) for dimensional measurement of 7 disorders based on criteria from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM-5).
Scale items were selected by agreement among 19 child psychologists and psychiatrists rating the correspondence between item descriptions and DSM-5 symptoms. Psychometric evaluation of the item properties and parent/caregiver and youth scales came from a general population study of 10,802 children and youth aged 4 to 17 years in 6537 families. Test-retest reliability data were collected from a subsample of 280 children and their caregivers who independently completed the OCHS-EBS checklist on 2 occasions 7 to 14 days apart. Structural equation modelling was used to assess internal and external convergent and discriminant validity—the latter tested against the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents (MINI-KID).
Confirmatory factor analyses exhibited adequate item fit to all scales. Except for conduct disorder and youth-assessed separation anxiety disorder, internal (Cronbach’s α) and test-retest reliability (Pearson’s r) for scale scores were 0.70 or above. Except for youth-assessed conduct disorder, the OCHS-EBS met criteria for internal and convergent and discriminant validity. Compared with the MINI-KID, the OCHS-EBS met criteria for external convergent and discriminant validity.
The OCHS-EBS provide reliable and valid dimensional measurement of 7 DSM-5 disorders assessed by caregivers and youth in the general population. Part II describes use of the OCHS-EBS as a categorical (present/absent) measure of disorder.