Validity of the CBCL/YSR DSM-IV scales Anxiety Problems and Affective Problems

J Anxiety Disord. 2008;22(1):126-34. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2007.01.008. Epub 2007 Feb 3.


Background: The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Youth Self-Report (YSR) are widely used for clinical and research purposes. Fairly recently, new 'DSM-IV scales' designated Anxiety Problems and Affective Problems were developed. Knowledge about the validity of these scales is needed.

Methods: In a referred sample of 277 6- to 18-year-olds, it was examined to what extent CBCL/YSR scores on the Anxiety Problems and Affective Problems scale predicted DSM-IV diagnoses of separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, major depressive disorder, or dysthymia. DSM-IV diagnoses were assessed with the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children (ADIS-C/P).

Results: Scores on the CBCL and YSR Anxiety Problems scale predicted DSM-IV disorders only moderately. However, CBCL and YSR scores on the Affective Problems scale corresponded closely to DSM-IV major depressive disorder and dysthymia.

Discussion: Scores on the CBCL/YSR Affective Problems scale can be used to screen for DSM-IV affective disorders. The item content of the CBCL/YSR Anxiety Problems scale requires renewed attention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Child
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Parents
  • Prevalence
  • Psychological Tests*
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results