Assessment of child psychopathology: relationships between different methods, different informants and clinical judgment of severity

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1991 Aug;84(2):155-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1991.tb03120.x.


The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships between information on children's problem behavior obtained by different methods (rating scales and clinical interviews) and from different sources (adolescent, parents and teacher). From a sample of 132 14-year-old international adoptees and their parents, information was obtained via the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Youth Self-Report and the Teacher's Report Form, the Child Assessment Schedule, and the Graham and Rutter Parent Interview. Agreement between the CBCL and the clinical judgment of the severity of psychopathology was substantial. Assessment procedures providing data on the adolescents' functioning derived from different sources revealed less agreement than those derived from the same informant. Agreement was higher for externalizing than for internalizing behaviors. Data from different sources made unique contributions to clinicians' judgments of the severity of psychopathology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adoption / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychopathology
  • Reproducibility of Results