SELECTING MEASURES OF EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS OF CHILDHOOD FOR USE IN GENERAL POPULATIONS
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This paper puts forward suggestions for assessing the suitability of existing measures of emotional and behavioral disorders of childhood for use in general populations. Specific attention is focused on the definition of emotional and behavioral disorder, measurement approaches and guidelines for choosing which disorders to study. The measurement criteria under review include acceptability, applicability, procedural adequacy, reliability and validity. These criteria are applied to seven instruments previously described as suitable for epidemiological and clinical research. Among these instruments, the ones developed by Rutter, Achenbach and Quay best meet the criteria and show the most promise of being useful in general populations. Among research priorities for the future, the foremost should include the specification of rules of evidence for establishing the validity of new measures of emotional and behavioral disorder.
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