Evidence-based assessment of conduct problems in children and adolescents

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2005 Sep;34(3):477-505. doi: 10.1207/s15374424jccp3403_6.


This article provides a summary of research in 4 areas that have direct and important implications for evidence-based assessment of children and adolescents with conduct problems (CP): (a) the heterogeneity in types and severity of CP, (b) common comorbid conditions, (c) multiple risk factors associated with CP, and (d) multiple developmental pathways to CP. For each of these domains, we discuss implications for evidence-based assessment, present examples of specific measures that can aid in such assessments, and provide recommendations for evidence-based assessment of CP in children and adolescents. We conclude that there is a need to (a) enhance the clinical utility of evidence-based measures for assessing CP; (b) increase attention to the sensitivity of such measures to change, for both treatment evaluation and monitoring; and (c) develop assessment methods that reliably and validly identify a child or adolescent's placement and progress on the various developmental pathways to CP.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Conduct Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Conduct Disorder / epidemiology
  • Conduct Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Humans