ASD Screening with the Child Behavior Checklist/1.5-5 in the Study to Explore Early Development

J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Jun;49(6):2348-2357. doi: 10.1007/s10803-019-03895-4.


We analyzed CBCL/1½-5 Pervasive Developmental Problems (DSM-PDP) scores in 3- to 5-year-olds from the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED), a multi-site case control study, with the objective to discriminate children with ASD (N = 656) from children with Developmental Delay (DD) (N = 646), children with Developmental Delay (DD) plus ASD features (DD-AF) (N = 284), and population controls (POP) (N = 827). ASD diagnosis was confirmed with the ADOS and ADI-R. With a cut-point of T ≥ 65, sensitivity was 80% for ASD, with specificity varying across groups: POP (0.93), DD-noAF (0.85), and DD-AF (0.50). One-way ANOVA yielded a large group effect (η2 = 0.50). Our results support the CBCL/1½-5's as a time-efficient ASD screener for identifying preschoolers needing further evaluation.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD); Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL); Developmental delay (DD).

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Checklist / methods*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*