The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a brief behavioural screening questionnaire that can be completed in about 5 minutes by the parents and teachers of 4-16 year olds. The scores of the English version correlate well with those of the considerably longer Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). The present study compares the German versions of the questionnaires. Both SDQ and CBCL were completed by the parents of 273 children drawn from psychiatric clinics (N = 163) and from a community sample (N = 110). The children from the community sample also filled in the SDQ self-report and the Youth Self Report (YSR). The children from the clinic sample received an ICD-10 diagnosis if applicable. Scores from the parent and self-rated SDQ and CBCL/YSR were highly correlated and equally able to distinguish between the community and clinic samples, with the SDQ showing significantly better results regarding the total scores. They were also equally able to distinguish between disorders within the clinic sample, the only significant difference being that the SDQ was better able to differentiate between children with and without hyperactivity-inattention. The study shows that like the English originals, the SDQ-Deu and the German CBCL are equally valid for most clinical and research purposes.