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.