A Validation Study of the Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders Behavioral Checklist

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2021 Apr;45(4):765-772. doi: 10.1111/acer.14570. Epub 2021 Apr 3.


Background: The initial confirmatory factor analysis of the Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder Behavioral Checklist (ABC) utilized a population of 203 children. The analysis identified 10 independent measures (executive functioning, attention and concentration, cognition, memory, confabulation, gullibility, communication skills, academic skills, living/social skills, and juvenile justice). The 10 measures differentiated children with FASD from non-FASD controls. In this study, we present a validity study of the ABC using a different population of children with FASD and non-FASD controls.

Methods: A chart review identified 224 children with ABC checklist scores who had been evaluated for FASD. From this sample, we implemented a case-control study of 76 children diagnosed with FASD and 76 non-FASD controls who were matched by gender and closest age in years (mean age was 8.5 years).

Results: The averages of the total score and individual domain scores were compared between the 2 data sets and then between children with FASD and non-FASD controls. Children with FASD had significantly higher scores on all 10 measures than the non-FASD controls. There were very high sensitivity and specificity scores for the total score cutoff and for all 10 of the individual measures.

Conclusions: In an independent sample, we found minimal differences between the previous data and the current validation study on measures of average total score cutoffs, scores for the 10 measures and correlations. Combining the 2 samples yielded robust differences in scores between children with FASD and non-FASD controls. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy estimates were also very high. The ABC Screen appears to have acceptable epidemiologic performance data to support its use as a screening tool and as an initial step in differentiating children with FASD from those who do not have FASD.

Keywords: Adolescents; Children; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; Screening; Sensitivity; Specificity; Validation.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Checklist*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / psychology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity